UK Surveys – Results

//UK Surveys – Results
UK Surveys – Results 2017-01-11T18:39:24+00:00

Young women want information on GBS & testing for GBS late in pregnancy routinely offered by NHS. Midwives want the same.

There are relatively few data available in the published literature which have been collected about what women or health professionals know about group B Strep or indeed what they want.

The data that have been collected from women of childbearing age show that far too many have not heard of group B Strep or, when they have, most don’t know what it is.  When made aware, overwhelmingly they want pregnant women to be informed about group B Strep and for sensitive tests for GBS carriage to be offered to them as a routine part of antenatal care.

The that have been collected from midwives explains in part why women are not aware of GBS – many midwives feel that they simply don’t have the information to pass on to the pregnant women in their care.  And, like the women they look after, most midwives would like to see pregnant women offered sensitive tests for GBS carriage.

Clearly, change – including more training and making sensitive tests for GBS carriage available – is needed.

Young women want information on GBS and testing for GBS during pregnancy routinely offered by NHS

Thanks to Bounty’s ‘Word of Mum’ Research Panel, we recently learned that of the 4,673 new and expectant mums who took part,

  • 53% had NOT heard of group B Strep
  • 96% believe all women in the UK should be informed about group B Strep as a matter of course during their pregnancy, with
  • 93% saying all pregnant women should be offered a test specifically to detect group B Strep carriage.

Further results of the research show that:

  • 94% of women agreed that they would take a group B Strep specific test in pregnancy if it were available for free on the NHS.
  • 58% said they would pay approximately £35 for the test privately (usually, there is not the option to have the test free on the NHS).
  • 27% of women said they could not afford to pay for the test, with the remaining 15% saying they did not think the test is needed.

The current UK group B Strep prevention strategy recommends offering antibiotics in labour to mums-to-be with specific risk factors –  fever in labour, previous baby ill with group B Strep, waters break more than 18 hours before delivery, group B Strep found in the urine or from a vaginal or rectal swab during the pregnancy, and early labour or waters breaking before 37 weeks of pregnancy. However, only testing is a good predictor of group B Strep carriage status at delivery – the KEY risk factor for a newborn baby developing group B Strep infection. The rest are poor at predicting whether a woman is carrying group B Strep – why are we guessing when we could be testing?

Jane Plumb MBE, chief executive of charity Group B Strep Support says, “This latest piece of research shows that over half of the women who should be informed about group B Strep are not. And that a two-tier approach exists to testing, dividing those mums who, once informed about group B Strep, can afford to pay for this potentially life-saving test during pregnancy to detect group B Strep carriage and those who cannot. This is simply wrong and needs to be addressed urgently.”

To view the complete research data, comparing to 2010 research data, please click here.

The Word of Mum research was conducted between 16-31 March 2015 and among 4,673 women in the early stages of pregnancy through to mums with a youngest child aged 12 months.

Midwives want more information about GBS & testing for GBS available to pregnant women

A survey of midwives and student midwives was conducted by Group B Strep Support at the Royal College of Midwives conference in November 2013, 163 midwives and student midwives provided information.  Headline findings included:

  • 98% of Midwives surveyed had heard of GBS
  • fewer than half of Midwives (46%) had read their Hospital Trust’s GBS guidelines;
  • only 16% had read the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists’ guidelines
  • 62% would like to see pregnant women offered testing for GBS carriage, with only 9% against and 29% unsure
  • nearly half of Midwives (44%) said they did not have adequate information about group B Strep
  • almost half of Midwives (49%) said they did not feel well informed enough to talk about GBS to families in their care

Group B Strep is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies with an incidence of culture-proven cases in babies aged 0-6 days of 0.5 per 1,000 live births and a mortality rate of 10.6% (Source: Heath PT et al, 2004). Midwives play a key role in the identification of mothers whose babies are at raised risk of these infections.

It is disappointing that almost half of the midwives surveyed do not feel they have adequate information either for themselves or to provide the families in their care.  More and better training is needed for these front-line health professionals.

Download the results GBS Survey at Royal College of Midwives Conference 2013.

Young women want information on GBS and testing for GBS during pregnancy routinely offered by NHS

Data collected by Bounty show that 97% of women in the UK think ALL pregnant women should be routinely offered information about group B Strep and a sensitive test for GBS.

The research, conducted among 2,102 pregnant women on Bounty’s ‘Word of Mum’ Research Panel, showed that 41% of women had not heard of group B Strep.

Of those who had heard of group B Strep:

  • 33% of women had heard about it from a midwife, GP practice or antenatal class
  • 67% had heard of it from other sources,almost half of these from a pregnancy book or magazine.

44% of women who had heard of group B Strep had found all the information they needed, but more than half had either not found any or enough information.

Sadly, these latest data confirm what we hear all the time – women want to be informed about GBS, they want to be offered a sensitive test in pregnancy and, when GBS is found or other risk factors arise, they want to be offered preventative antibiotics in labour.  And they simply can’t understand why isn’t happening here, particularly when it does so successfully in other countries.

To view the complete research data, comparing to 2010 research date, please click here.

The Word of Mum research was conducted between 15-31 July 2013 and among women in the early stages of pregnancy through to mums whose youngest child is aged 5 or younger.

Young women want information on GBS and testing for GBS during pregnancy routinely offered by NHS

An opinion poll found that most young women support the introduction of a national screening programme to detect Group B Strep in pregnant women.

The survey found that just over half (54%) of women aged 20-35 have heard of Group B Strep, but only 20% know what it is.  Whilst this is a huge improvement since 2006 when 9 out of 10 pregnant women had not heard of group B Strep (click here), it remains relatively unchanged from the survey in 2010 (click here).

Once young women are made aware of the dangers of Group B Strep, they strongly agree that pregnant women should be offered information, tests and when identified, antibiotics in labour against group B Strep infection in the baby. This validates GBSS’s campaign goals of raising awareness of Group B Strep and increasing access to tests and treatments.

•    92% believe that information on group B Strep should be given to all pregnant women
•    92% would welcome the opportunity for pregnant women to be screened for group B Strep in the later stages of pregnancy and believe this should be offered to women routinely
•    95% believe antibiotics should be offered in labour to women with group B Strep and that they themselves would definitely or probably accept the offer (89%)

When asked specifically if they would agree to receive antibiotics in labour if it would minimise the risk of serious infection for their baby a large majority answer  ‘yes’ with a sizable minority answer ‘probably’ rather than ‘definitely’.

Survey conducted by ComRes of 1,000 20-35 year old women in the UK online between 28 October and 1 November 2011 to find out more about the survey from their website click here.

Young women want information on GBS and testing for GBS during pregnancy routinely offered by NHS

The survey, conducted by Bounty Word of Mum Panel, was conducted from 19th and 31st May 2010 when 2,226 interviews were carried out, amongst women in the early stages of pregnancy through to mums with a youngest child aged 2 years.  Although awareness of GBS is fairly widespread, with around 3 in 5 aware of the condition, there is scope for the NHS to improve on the way it addresses the condition:

  • Mums tend to find out about the condition from other sources, such as pregnancy books/magazines and through friends and other mums. Just 1 in 5 find out first from a midwife.
  • 2 in 5 then go on to ask a midwife about the condition. This suggested a need for more proactive information provision, rather then reactive.
  • The vast majority of mums would like more from the NHS on GBS, including information provision in pregnancy, the availability of a test and the option to have it, or at the very least, to be informed of the option to pay for a test privately.
  • 84% of mums would have been or would have wanted to have been tested during their most recent pregnancy.
  • When asked if they would have paid £32 to have had the test privately, just 56% would have. A quarter would not have been able to afford to pay for the test – this shows there is real need for a free test available on the NHS.

For more detailed information of the findings, click here.

Young women want information on GBS and testing for GBS during pregnancy routinely offered by NHS

Pregnancy & birth magazine carried out a survey about group B Strep and found that:

  • Nine out of 10 pregnant women have ‘never heard’ about Group B Strep bacteria which infects 700 newborn
  • Only 2% of the 1,000 pregnant women and new mothers surveyed by Pregnancy & Birth Magazine had been informed about Group B Strep (GBS) at an ‘antenatal class’ and only 3% ‘by their GP’.
  • Two thirds of these ‘had no idea how dangerous GBS can be’.
  • When told about tests for GBS in pregnancy, an overwhelming 92% of the pregnant women surveyed say they would ‘pay to have it done’, even though 40% say they ‘couldn’t really afford it’.
  • And 100% of the pregnant women and new mothers surveyed say ‘all pregnant women should be automatically told about GBS by their GP or midwife and be offered a free reliable test on the NHS during the last few weeks of pregnancy.’