We have now received a formal response to the Change.org petition on GBS that had over 256,000 signatures (now almost 300,000) when handed into the Department of Health in January. We are deeply disappointed by the response.
The letter from the Minister for Health, Philip Dunne MP, does not move the issue forward at all. Apart from two sentences, it is made up entirely of standard ‘boilerplate’ content, seen many times in correspondence from the Department of Health, and simply summarises the current position.
“We are so disappointed by this letter – it may be that the Minister does, as he says: ‘fully appreciate the concerns raised by the signatories’ but, if so, he has failed to show it in this letter.
We will be seeking a meeting urgently with the Minister, together with Fiona Paddon and Scott Bramley, who have done so much to raise awareness of this important but usually preventable infection in babies.”
The letter fails to address the content of the petition, the huge number of signatories, or what action the Department will take as a result of the petition. It implies that the current situation is acceptable – that we must wait for the outcomes of ongoing initiatives and simply accept that, in the meantime, babies will suffer and die from group B Strep infection that could have been prevented.
We will seek an urgent meeting with the Minister for Health, together with petitioners Fiona Paddon & Scott Bramley.
Please join us in taking action! We continue to campaign for change.
Please write to your MP expressing how disappointed you feel by the response to the petition, and ask them to write to the Minister requesting he meet with Group B Strep Support and with Fiona & Scott as a matter of urgency. If you or someone you know has had experience of group B Strep, do mention this.