Dr Gopal Rao concurred with Dr Raychaudhuri’s findings – although not yet statistically significant, the introduction of universal maternal GBS screening at Northwick Park Hospital had been associated with the reduction in the number of cases of infections and congenital pneumonia, with no cases of the condition identified after screening. The proportion of women screened had started at 40% and was now at 80%.
Dr Rao discussed cost effectiveness in some detail, concluding overall that in the ‘worst case scenario the screening programme was cost neutral.’
“when I clubbed all the unscreened populations together, we had roughly about 27,000 of which 27 developed an infection which gave me a rate of a little over 1 per 1,000 live births which is again, two and half times the national average. But you can see the confidence interval is between 0.68 and 1.45 so the real value is probably not too far away from 1 in any case.
If you look at those that are born to the screened mothers, of which we had over 5,000, we had only one who developed early onset GBS infection.”