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RCOG statement: NICE launch consultation on draft guideline on reducing preterm birth

News 1 June 2015

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has launched a consultation today on the draft guideline on premature birth.

The guideline sets out the extra care a woman at risk of, or in suspected or confirmed preterm labour should receive before and during birth, with the aim of preventing or delaying early birth and reducing the associated risks to the baby.

The public consultation for this guideline will continue until 2 July 2015 and the final guideline is expected to be published towards the end of this year.

Dr Manish Gupta, Co-Chair of the RCOG Guidelines Committee said:

“Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the UK and many suffer lifelong consequences as a result.

“The NICE guideline will offer a comprehensive picture for healthcare professionals on the best way to provide treatment for women who present with symptoms and signs or preterm labour. It will also review how preterm birth can be optimally diagnosed in symptomatic women, given that many women thought to be in preterm labour on clinical assessment will not deliver prematurely.

“The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will be submitting to the consultation ensuring that all of the latest scientific evidence on delaying early labour and preventing pre-term birth are incorporated within the new guideline.

“It is our role as care providers to ensure that women and their babies receive the best possible care and we are committed to tackling premature birth.”


For further information, please contact the RCOG Media and PR team on +44 20 7772 6300 or email

The draft guideline is available to view here.

The RCOG has Patient Information on Corticosteroids in pregnancy to reduce complications from being born prematurely and When your waters break early.

View the RCOG Green-top Guideline Preterm Prelabour Rupture of Membranes and Preterm Labour, Tocolytic Drugs

For more information or support on preterm birth, please visit the Tommy’s Charity website.