»Parliamentary Questions
Parliamentary Questions 2017-12-08T16:50:37+00:00

Parliamentary Questions

2017

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) 5 December 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to encourage NHS Trusts to update their local guidelines as a result of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ September 2017 update to their clinical Green-Top guidelines on Group B Streptococcus; and if he will make a statement.

Mims Davies (Conservative, Eastleigh) 28 November 2017. With this vital new focus on safer births, will there be an opportunity to look at group B strep and others issues that if undetected in the later stages of pregnancy can result in baby loss?

Eddie Hughes (Conservative, Walsall North) 20 November 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps are being taken to improve the screening for the presence of pathogens associated with neonatal sepsis such as Group B streptococcal disease.

Eddie Hughes (Conservative, Walsall North) 20 November 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to make mothers aware of antenatal screening for the presence of pathogens associated with neonatal sepsis, such as Group B streptococcal disease.

Eddie Hughes (Conservative, Walsall North) 20 November 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the number of mothers screened for the presence of pathogens associated with neonatal sepsis, such as Group B streptococcal disease, in England in (a) 2014-15, (b) 2015-16 and (c) 2016-17.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) 14 November 2017. Will my right hon. Friend join me in congratulating my constituents in Group B Strep Support, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, on the September update to the green-top clinical guidelines on group B strep infection, which I am sure he will agree are a significant step forward in preventing that wicked and wholly unnecessary neonatal infection?

Jim Shannon (Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)) 25 October 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many people have been diagnosed with Group B strep in the UK in each of the last five years.

Justin Madders (Shadow Minister, Health) 10 October 2017. Baby Loss Awareness Debate.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) 6 July 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress his Department has made on reviewing UK National Screening Committee guidance on Group B strep prevention; and if he will make a statement. And whether he plans to review Group B Strep prevention strategies to align the UK with international best practice in preventing early-onset Group B Strep.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) 6 July 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what progress his Department has made on reviewing UK National Screening Committee guidance on Group B strep prevention; and if he will make a statement. And whether he plans to review Group B Strep prevention strategies to align the UK with international best practice in preventing early-onset Group B Strep.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) 6 July 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the National Institute for Health Research will begin the clinical trial comparing universal screening for Group B strep carriage in late pregnancy with usual risk-based care.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) 3 July 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he expects the trial to compare universal screening for Group B Strep carriage in late pregnancy with usual risk-based care to be completed in advance of UK National Screening Committee’s guidance review on Group B Strep in 2019-20.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) 21 March 2017. If his Department will take steps to introduce the enriched culture medium test for group B streptococcus for pregnant women; and if he will make a statement.

Justin Madders (Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston, Shadow Minister (Health)) 20 January 2017. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will take steps to make group B streptococcus screening routinely available to all pregnant women.

2016

Royston Smith (Conservative, Southampton, Itchen) 14 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to introduce the gold-standard framework, developed by Dr Keri Thomas, for detecting group B streptococcus infection.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what comparative assessment he has made of the change in the rate of babies becoming infected with group B streptococcus in the UK relative to the change in the rate in (a) the US, (b) Canada, (c) Germany, (d) France and (e) Spain in the last 10 years.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the proportion of adults who carry group B streptococus.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will list for (a) new-born babies and (b) babies aged between seven and 90 days the signs of group B streptococcus infection.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the proportion of babies with group B streptococus infection that (a) die and (b) develop long-term health problems as a result of that infection.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what information his Department holds on the most common infections caused to new-born babies by group B streptococus.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of treating a baby with group B streptococus infection.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what cost-benefit assessment he has made of detecting group B streptococcus during pregnancy.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of treating pregnant women who carry the group B streptococcus with antibiotics during pregnancy and childbirth on preventing the transmission of that infection to new-born babies.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment his Department has made of the relative effectiveness of the enriched culture medium test and the common all-purpose test in diagnosing group B streptococus infection.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to replace the Group B Streptococcus Prevention Strategy which is based on risk factors with offering the enriched culture medium test to all pregnant women on the NHS.

Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative, Worthing West) 02 December 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to replace the Group B Streptococcus Prevention Strategy which is based on risk factors with offering the enriched culture medium test to all pregnant women on the NHS.

Gloria De Piero (Labour, Ashfield), 17 October 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether he plans routinely to offer screening tests for Group B Strep to pregnant women as part of their antenatal care.

David Simpson (DUP, Upper Bann), 5 September 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how much funding has been provided to prevent and tackle Group B Strep infection among pregnant women in the last five years.

David Simpson (DUP, Upper Bann), 5 September 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps the Government is taking to prevent and tackle Group B Strep infection among pregnant women and unborn children.

Douglas Chapman (SNP, Dunfermline and West Fife), 22 March 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2016 to Question 27968, what the opening and closing dates are for the public consultation of the UK National Screening Committee’s review of group B streptococcus policy; and on what date the meeting at which a decision will be made is planned.

Douglas Chapman (SNP, Dunfermline and West Fife), 22 March 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2016 to Question 27968, what the opening and closing dates are for the public consultation of the UK National Screening Committee’s review of group B streptococcus policy; and on what date the meeting at which a decision will be made is planned.

Dr Dan Poulter (Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich), 8 March 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the timescale is for the UK National Screening Committee Group B Streptococcus review; when the public consultation on that review will open and close; and when he expects the committee to make a decision on the outcomes of that review.

Sir Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex), 1 March 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will take steps to include group B Strep (GBS) in future work relating to the National Maternity Review.

Business of the House, 25 Feb 2016. Matthew Pennycook (Lab,Labour, Greenwich and Woolwich): Edward Paddon, the son of my constituents Fiona and Scott, was just nine days old when he died, in part as a result of group B streptococcus ascending infection. Instead of looking forward to what would have been Edward’s second birthday in a few months, his parents are campaigning so that others do not have to suffer as they have. May we have an urgent debate about what can be done to…

Douglas Chapman (SNP, Dunfermline and West Fife), 23 February 2016. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, when the National Screening Committee next plans to meet to review its recommendations on group B streptococcus screening for pregnant mothers.

2015

Andy McDonald (Labour, Middlesbrough), 30 November 2015. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many UK microbiology laboratories use the UK SMI B58 or equivalent test for detecting group B strep carriage.

Maternity Units: Bereavement Care Adjournment Debate, 2 November 2015.

Barry Sheerman (Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield), 19 October 2015. To ask the Secretary of State for Health

  • what cost benefit assessment his Department has made of a policy of providing Group B strep tests to new-born babies on the NHS.
  • what recent representations he has received on the provision of Group B strep tests for new-born babies.
  • what his policy is on providing Group B strep tests for new-born babies.

Andy McDonald (Labour, Middlesbrough), 8 September 2015. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the recent Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists audit which reported that more than half of all obstetric units tested some or all pregnant women for group B Streptococci using tests not designed specifically to detect group B Streptococci, what the Government’s plans are to introduce Public Health England’s recently updated UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations, B58 Detection of carriage of Group B Streptococci; and what the planned timescale is for that introduction.

Andy McDonald (Labour, Middlesbrough), 8 September 2015. To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance his Department has issued (a) to ensure that (i) health professionals involved in the care of pregnant women and (ii) pregnant women are informed about group B Streptococcus and (b) on effectiveness of tests used within the NHS to detect carriage of group B Streptococcus.

Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex), 20 July 2015. To ask the Secretary of State for Health:

  • what plans he has to reduce Group B Strep infection in newborn babies.
  • how the charity Group B Strep Support will be involved in the pre-consultation stage of the UK National Screening Committee’s review;
  • when he plans to start public consultation on the review; and when he expects to make a decision on the review.
  • if he will ensure that all reviews of Group B Strep prevention policy are led and advised by specialists who were not involved in designing the current guidelines.
  • when and how he plans to make available the Public Health England’s recently updated UK SMI B58 Detection of carriage of Group B Strep.
  • what plans his Department has to improve awareness of Group B Strep infection.
  • whether the UK National Screening Committee’s 2015-16 forthcoming review of their policy on Group B Strep screening will meet PRISMA standards.
  • when the UK National Screening Committee’s 2015-16 forthcoming review of their policy on Group B Strep screening will start.
  • what effect the introduction of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ risk-based prevention strategy for Group B Strep infection in newborn babies has had in England since its introduction in 2003; and what information his Department holds on its effects in Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • when he last met stakeholders to discuss improving the prevention of Group B Strep infection in newborn babies; and when he next plans to meet them.

Mark Durkan (SLDP, Foyle); 10 July 2015. PMQ. As a Back Bencher, the Prime Minister campaigned for group B strep awareness. I am sure that he is aware of Northwick Park hospital’s highly successful programme of universal GBS screening, which proves the very case that he used to make. Will he now encourage Ministers to roll out GBS-specific testing as a routine offer to all pregnant women in all our health services?

2014

Jim Shannon (Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health); Stangford, DUP) 2 April 2014  To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many babies were born with Group B streptococcus in each of the last five years.

Kate Green (Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions); Stretford and Urmston, Labour) 25 February 2014 In 2012 representatives of Group B Strep Support met the Minister and received a commitment that the gold standard of enriched culture medium testing would be introduced, which can facilitate preventive treatment for women in labour. Just before Christmas, Public Health England announced that the testing would not go ahead from 1 January. Can the Minister say why not and when the test will be introduced?

Mike Thornton (Eastleigh, Liberal Democrat) 3 March 2014  To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of enriched culture medium testing in (a) France, (b) Canada, (c) Spain, (d) the US and (e) other countries to identify Group B streptococcus.

Mike Thornton (Eastleigh, Liberal Democrat) 3 March 2014  To ask the Secretary of State for Health what comparative assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the enriched culture medium and the general purpose test for testing Group B streptococcus in babies.

Mike Thornton (Eastleigh, Liberal Democrat) 25 February 2014  To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his future plans are for introducing Enriched Culture Medium testing for Group B Strep?

Mark Durkan (Foyle, SDLP) 25 February 2014  In the Minister’s earlier answer, was he saying that enriched culture medium testing is not a safe, simple and effective test for group B strep carriage?

Kate Green (Shadow Minister (Stretford and Urmston, Labour) 25 February 2014 In 2012 representatives of Group B Strep Support met the Minister and received a commitment that the gold standard of enriched culture medium testing would be introduced, which can facilitate preventive treatment for women in labour. Just before Christmas, Public Health England announced that the testing would not go ahead from 1 January. Can the Minister say why not and when the test will be introduced?

Luciana Berger (Shadow Minister (Public Health); Liverpool, Wavertree, Labour) 24 February 2014 To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons Enriched Culture Medium testing for group B Strep (GBS) was not introduced on 1 January 2014; and who took such a decision.

Luciana Berger (Shadow Minister (Public Health); Liverpool, Wavertree, Labour) 11 February 2014 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the reason was for his Department’s decision not to introduceEnriched Culture Medium testing for Group B Strep on 1 January 2014, despite Ministers’ previous commitment to do this; and who took that decision.

Bob Russell (Colchester, Liberal Democrat) 4 February 2014 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice his Department has given to regional and local laboratories to raise awareness among microbiology and pathology staff to ensure that the enhanced medium is offered when testing is requested in respect of Group B streptococcus in intrapartum women; and if he will make a statement.

Bob Russell (Colchester, Liberal Democrat) 4 February 2014 To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the reply by the Acting Chief Executive of the Health Protection Agency to the letter sent to him on 21 December 2012 by the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, in respect of Group B streptococcus in intrapartum women.

Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View, Labour) 7 January 2014: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects Public Health England to make available the improved Enriched Culture Medium test for group B Strep carriage.

2013

Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire, Conservative) 8 November 2013: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether the formal audit of practice suggested by the UK National Screening Committee to establish how effectively guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is being implemented at a national level will include practice as well as a review of policy documents; (2) what evidence his Department holds on the effectiveness of negative results for group B streptococcus from a urine test in early pregnancy as a predictor of maternal group B streptococcus colonisation in labour; (3) pursuant to the answer of 4 September 2013, Official Report, columns 432-3W, on streptococcus, whether the study to be commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme will include a comparison of the effectiveness of the high risk factors at predicting GBS colonisation in labour with women without these high risk factors.

Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire, Conservative) 7 November 2013: Adjournment Debate with additional questions asked by Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative) with response from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Dr Dan Poulter). Click here to watch on YouTube.

Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire, Conservative) 4 September 2013: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps his Department is taking to increase awareness of (a) the dangers posed by and (b)steps taken to avoid Group B streptococcus among pregnant women and their families; (2) what steps his Department is taking to increase awareness of the signs of Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (3) what targets his Department has set for long-term reduction in the number of Group B streptococcal infections in maternity wards; (4) what his Department’s policy is on routine testing for carriage of Group B streptococcus in the early stages of pregnancy; (5) what steps his Department is taking to identify pregnant women at higher risk of Group B streptococcal infection.

Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South, Social Democratic and Labour Party) 3 July 2013: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent progress he has made in implementing the Government’s strategy for dealing with Group B Streptococcus; (2) what the most recent recommendation is that he has received from the UK National Screening Committee on screening for Group B Streptococcus; (3) what steps he has taken to ensure that appropriate tests are used within the NHS when a clinician and pregnant woman seek to identify Group B Streptococcus carriage.

Bob Russell (Colchester, Liberal Democrat) 20 May 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the potential effectiveness of a point of care test for group B streptococcus carriage in maternity settings; and if he will make a statement; (2) what steps his Department is taking to develop a point of care test for group B streptococcus carriage in pregnant women considered to be at high risk; what time-scale has been set for the introduction of such a test; and if he will make a statement.

Bob Russell (Colchester, Liberal Democrat) 16 May 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will set a target for the reduction of early-onset group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; and if he will make a statement.

Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry, DUP) 7 March 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health how he plans to improve care for expectant mothers and reduce the risk of group B streptococcal infection in new born babies.

Toby Perkins (Chesterfield, Labour) 7 March 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to respond directly to the concerns of those people who wrote submissions to the recent group B Streptococcus consultation responding in favour of screening; (2) what assessment he has made of the outcome of his Department’s recent consultation on group B streptococcus.

Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish, Labour) 4 March 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether the planned tool for use locally to audit current practice and improve implementation of the revised Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guideline on the prevention of early-onset Group B Strep disease will include the recommendations of the guideline on antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of early onset neonatal infection issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, published in August 2012; which stakeholders will be involved in the development and implementation of his Department’s proposed tool for local use to audit current practice and improve implementation of the revised guideline issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the prevention of early-onset group B Strep disease; and what timetable has been set for the (a) development and (b) implementation of the tool; what timetable his Department has set for the inclusion of group B Strep as a topic in education and continuing professional development programmes for clinicians and midwives; and which stakeholders will be involved in the (a) development and (b) implementation of relevant education materials; what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the recommendations in the guideline on antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of early onset neonatal infection issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence are implemented wherever babies are born and then cared for; if he will set a target for the reduction of group B streptococcal infection in newborn babies..

Naomi Long (Belfast East, Alliance) 12 February 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to the Health Protection Agency’s UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations B58, processing swabs for group B streptococcal carriage, revised in August 2012, what steps his Department is taking to make gold standard testing for group B Strep is available at the request of pregnant women and their health professionals within the NHS; and what the timetable is for making such testing available; (2) with reference to the Health Protection Agency’s UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations B58, processing swabs for group B streptococcal carriage, revised in August 2012, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the gold standard testing for group B Strep is available from all the laboratories within the NHS; and what the timetable is for making such testing available; (3) what assessment he has made of the effects of the 2012 update to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Prevention of early onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease guidelines on rates of group B streptococcal infections in newborn babies; (4) how many NHS microbiology laboratories follow the Health Protection Agency’s UK Standards Microbiology Investigations B58 processing swabs for group B streptococcal carriage, revised in August 2012 when testing for group B Strep carriage; (5) what steps his Department is taking to educate relevant health professionals about the suitability of different tests for group B streptococcal carriage, including the suitability of different swab sites and culture methods.

Nicholas Dakin (Scunthorpe, Labour) 12 February 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 14 January 2013, Official Report, column 628, on streptococcus, what the definition is of high-risk pregnant women in this context; who provided that definition; and whether a consultation has been held on that definition.

Nicholas Dakin (Scunthorpe, Labour) 14 January 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what evidence the National Screening Committee used to support its decision not to introduce routine screening for group B streptococcus carriage in pregnant women; (2) what assessment he has made of the reasons for the rise in reported cases of group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (3) what target his Department has set for reducing group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (4) what steps his Department plans to take to reduce the incidence of group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies.

Peter Bottomley (Worthing West, Conservative) 10 January 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what comparative assessment he has made of the outcomes of routine and ad hoc detection of group B streptococcus in pregnant women; (2) what information his Department holds on rates and trends in cases of group B streptococcus in new born babies in the UK compared with (a) the US, (b) Argentina, (c) France, (d) Kenya and (e) Slovenia since the introduction of the risk-based prevention strategy in 2003; (3) what estimate was made of the (a) likely numbers of cases and (b) potential benefits of the risk-based strategy for screening pregnant women for group B streptococcus at the time of that strategy’s introduction; and if he will make a statement; (4) how many newborn babies suffered death or disability due to group B streptococcus in the last year for which figures are available; (5) what evidence the National Screening Committee used to support its decision not to introduce routine screening for group B streptococcus carriage in pregnant women; (6) what assessment he has made of the reasons for the continued rise in reported cases of group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (7) what target his Department has set for reducing group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (8) what steps he plans to take to reduce group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (9) what were the three most common causes of life-threatening infection in newborn babies in each of the last five years; (10) what analysis has been conducted of the comparative (a) cost and (b) effects of (i) providing routine intravenous antibiotic prophylaxis to all women without screening, (ii) the current risk-based strategy and (iii) screening of all pregnant women as strategies for reducing cases of group B streptococcus in newborn babies.

Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) 10 January 2013 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what evidential basis was used by the UK National Screening Council when deciding to reject routine screening for the carriage of Group B Streptococcus in pregnant women; (2) what recent assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the rise in reported cases of Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (3) what target his Department has set for the reduction of Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (4) what steps his Department is taking to reduce incidences of Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies.

2012

Philip Hollobone (Kettering) 20 December 2012. The Leader of the House will know that group B streptococcus is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, and that each year, very sadly, some 100 newborn babies suffer either death or disability as a result. In countries that have routine screening, infection rates are falling, yet in this country infection rates have risen by a quarter in the past 10 years. The UK National Screening Committee has just announced, after a review, that it will not be introducing routine screening. May we have an oral statement from a Health Minister on the Floor of the House so that Members can question this very distressing decision?

Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston) 17 December 2012. To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has carried out to establish why the updated Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guidelines on prevention of group B streptococcus (GBS) have not resulted in reduced incidence of GBS infection in newborn babies.

Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston) 5 December 2012. To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on public opinion on routine screening for Group B streptococcus carriage in pregnant women; (2) what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on public opinion on the acceptability of receiving antibiotics during labour to prevent the transmission of Group B streptococcus from mother to baby.

Naomi Long (Belfast East, Alliance) 19 November 2012. To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what effect he expects the 2012 update to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Prevention of early onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease guidelines to have on rates of group B streptococcus infections in newborn babies; (2) how many responses have been received by the UK National Screening Committee consultation on introducing routine screening for group B streptococcus in pregnant women; (3) how many meetings he has had with (a) officials and (b) stakeholders to discuss the UK National Screening Committee’s review of group B streptococcus screening for pregnant women.

Stephen McPartland (Stevenage, Conservative) 31 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what studies have been conducted to understand the reasons for the rise in group B streptococcus infections in newborn babies; (2) what research his Department has conducted to gauge the opinions of women of childbearing age of the desirability of antenatal screening for group B streptococcus carriage and their opinions on the use of antibiotics during labour to prevent transmission of group B streptococcus from mother to baby; (3) what the expected effect on rates of group B streptococcus infections in newborn babies was following the introduction of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Prevention of Early-onset Neonatal group B Streptococcal Disease guideline in 2003.

Graham Brady (Altrincham & Sale West, Conservative) 31 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the advantages to public health of the introduction of routine screening of pregnant women for group B streptococcus.

Bob Russell (Colchester, Liberal Democrat) 23 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he has taken to publicise the UK National Screening Committee’s public consultation on screening all pregnant women for group B streptococcus; and if he will make a statement; (2) what steps he is taking to ensure consideration of all submissions made directly to the UK National Screening Committee during public consultations on screening for group B streptococcus; if he will ensure that the submissions and the response to them are made public; and if he will make a statement; (3) what cost-benefit analyses his Department has conducted to compare the UK’s current risk-based strategy for preventing group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies with screening approaches with other countries; if he will publish the results of any such analyses; and if he will make a statement; (4) what recent consultation his Department has undertaken with other EU member states regarding the prevention of group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative) 18 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will ensure that data on the rates of potentially preventable early onset group B streptococcus infection in the UK will be considered as part of the evidence in the National Screening Committee’s review of screening for group B streptococcus; (2) if he will ensure that the National Screening Committee review of testing for group B streptococcus takes into account evidence from other countries when making their decision.

Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston, Labour) 18 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will ensure that the four reports commissioned through the Government’s Health Technology Assessment Programme that found screening to be more cost-effective than risk-based prevention strategies will be considered by the UK National Screening Committee during the current review of screening for group B streptococcus; (2) whether relevant high-quality randomised controlled trials are required by the National Screening Committee before introducing a new screening programme in the UK; (3) what steps he is taking to ensure UK rates of group B streptococcus decline; (4) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all hospitals in England use the method described in the Health Protection Agency’s National Standard Method BSOP58 when checking pregnant women for group B streptococcus.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 18 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consideration he has given to introducing a pilot antenatal screening programme for group B streptococcus; and what the estimated cost would be; (2) what assessment he has made of the recent report by Group B Streptococcus Support on the introduction of screening in the UK; (3) what steps he plans to take to prevent preventable cases of group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies.

Alison Seabeck (Plymouth, Moor View, Labour) 15 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure the widest possible engagement from stakeholders during the National Screening Committee consultation on offering screening for Group B streptococcus to all pregnant women; (2) what steps his Department is taking to assess the statistical significance of the increase in Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies between 2003 and 2010.

Bob Russell (Colchester, Liberal Democrat) 15 October 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions his Department has had with other EU member states on the prevention of Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (2) what comparative assessment his Department has undertaken of the cost benefit of the UK’s risk-based strategy for preventing a Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies with screening approaches used in other western countries; and what the results were of any such assessment; (3) what steps he has taken to publicise the UK National Screening Committee’s public consultation on screening all pregnant women for Group B streptococcus and its closure on 23 October 2012; (4) what steps he is taking to ensure that all submissions made directly to the UK National Screening Committee during public consultations on screening for Group B streptococcus are considered by his Department and that those submissions and the responses to them are made public; and if he will make a statement.

John Denham (Southampton Itchen, Labour) 5 September 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect on the level of infections among newborn babies of the introduction of the Royal College of Obstetricians’ 2003 guidelines in respect of group B streptococcus.

John Denham (Southampton Itchen, Labour) 5 September 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department has conducted any international comparative analyses of measures for preventing group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (2) if he will take steps to ensure enriched culture method testing for detecting group B streptococcus carriage among newborn babies is made available across the NHS.

Baroness Gardner of Parkes (Conservative) 2 July 2012 I refer in particular to the UK National Screening Committee. Is he aware that, probably correctly, it makes its decisions only on research results? Why does it claim that it does not have the money to spend on research into Streptococcus B infections, when international research shows a clear choice for screening as opposed to risk assessment? That change that has been made in other countries has resulted in reductions of strep B infections in children of 80% in the USA, 60% in Spain, 82% in Australia and 71% in France. The screening of pregnant mothers could prevent that very serious condition, which can be fatal, being passed to a small number of babies

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, LibDem) 21 May 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to improve awareness of Group B streptococcus.

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, LibDem) 21 May 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in Portsmouth South constituency were (a) tested for, (b) diagnosed with and (c) treated for Group B streptococcus in the latest period for which figures are available.

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, LibDem) 21 May 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many NHS Trusts offer enriched culture medium testing; (2) what steps he plans to take to increase the number of NHS trusts offering enriched culture medium tests.

Mike Hancock (Portsmouth South, LibDem) 21 May 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people died from bacterial infection stemming from Group B streptococcus in each of the last 10 years.

Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire, LibDem) 14 March 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consideration he has given to routinely offering Enriched Culture Method tests to pregnant women to detect Group B Streptococcus infection; (2) if he will make an assessment of the merits of routinely assessing pregnant women for Group B Streptococcus infection.

Naomi Long (Belfast East, Alliance) 1 March 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Northern Ireland on the compulsory screening of pregnant women for group B streptococcus in Northern Ireland; (2) what consideration he has given to the compulsory screening of pregnant women for group B streptococcus.

Edward Timpson (Crewe and Nantwich, Conservative) 24 January 2012 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the introduction of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists guidelines in November 2003 on reducing the number of incidents of group B streptococcal infections in newborn babies.

Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Conservative) 10 January 2012 If he will consider proposals to introduce a national screening programme to detect group B streptococcus in pregnant women.

2011

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative) 19 December 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance is issued to health care professionals on preventing group B streptococcal infection in newborn babies; and when this guidance was last updated; (2) what information his Department holds on the number of cases of group B streptococcal infection in babies aged (a) zero to six days and (b) seven to 90 days in each constituent part of the UK since 2003.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative) 19 December 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department has collected on the effect of introducing group B streptococcus screening on levels of infection in babies in (a) the US, (b) Canada, (c) Australia, (d) France, (e) Italy, (f) Spain and (g) other countries.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative) 19 December 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has commissioned on the benefits of group B streptococcus testing in pregnancy in the last five years.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative) 19 December 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations his Department has received on group B streptococcus screening since May 2010.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire, Conservative) 13 October 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s policy is on testing women for group B streptococcal infection during pregnancy; and if he will make a statement.

Margot James (Stourbridge, Conservative) 14 June 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the merits of testing for Group B streptococcal infections in pregnant women; (2) what steps he is taking to prevent Group B streptococcal infections in newborn babies.

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East, Labour) 15 March 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 7 March 2011, Official Report, column 907W, on streptococcus: screening, what steps he plans to take to reduce the incidence of group B streptococcus.

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East, Labour) 7 March 2011 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the (a) clinical and (b) cost effectiveness of introducing screening for group B streptococcus for all pregnant women; and what steps he plans to take to raise awareness among (i) pregnant women and (ii) healthcare professionals of group B streptococcus.

2010

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 4 November 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made for benchmarking purposes of best practice in the treatment of group B streptococcal infections in other EU member states; and if he will make a statement.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 3 November 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of group B streptococcus infection were recorded in each of the last five years; and what other data his Department collects on the incidence of such infections.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 3 November 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether his Department has conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the introduction of routine screening of pregnant women for group B streptococcus; (2) what estimate he has made of the cost of introducing a pilot screening programme for pregnant women to test for group B streptococcus and what analysis his Department has conducted to inform this estimate.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 1 November 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps his Department has taken to inform (a) relevant health professionals and (b) pregnant women of the symptoms and prevention of group B streptococcus infections in babies; (2) what guidelines his Department issues to NHS trusts on preventing Group B Streptococcal infection in newborn babies.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 1 November 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps are being taken by his Department to increase levels of compliance with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ guidelines on preventing Group B Streptococcal infection in newborn babies; (2) what guidance his Department issues to health professionals on implementation in maternity units of the guidelines issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for preventing Group B Streptococcus infection in newborn babies.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 1 November 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what measures he uses to ensure that high-quality information on group B streptococcus is given to all pregnant women as a routine part of their antenatal care; (2) if he will take steps to ensure that pregnant women are informed about Group B Streptococcus as part of their antenatal care.

Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex, Conservative) 1 November 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues to strategic health authorities on the provision of tests to pregnant women for Group B Streptococcus infection.

Nick de Bois (Enfield North, Conservative) 26 July 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to prevent group B streptococcal infections in newborn babies.

Nick de Bois (Enfield North, Conservative) 20 July 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many newborn babies were diagnosed with group B streptococcal infections in (a) London and (b) England in each of the last five years.

Anne Milton (Shadow Minister, Health; Guildford, Conservative) 10 March 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps are being taken by his Department to increase levels of compliance with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ guidelines on preventing group B streptococcal infection in newborn babies; (2) what guidelines his Department provides on preventing group B streptococcal infection in newborn babies.

Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow, Labour) 22 February 2010 To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department issues to strategic health authorities on the availability of tests to pregnant women for Group B streptococcus infection; (2) how many infant deaths were due to (a) early and (b) late onset Group B streptococcus infection in the latest period for which figures are available.

2009

Parmjit Dhanda (Gloucester, Labour) 12 October 2009 To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the implications for his policy of the most recent evidence on testing pregnant women for Group B streptococcus.

Parmjit Dhanda (Gloucester, Labour) (12 October 2009) To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department provides to health professionals on implementation in maternity units of the guidelines issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for preventing Group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies; (2) if he will take steps to ensure that pregnant women are informed about Group B streptococcus as part of their antenatal care.

2008

Anne Milton (Guildford, Conservative) (20 March 2008) To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2527W, on Streptococcus screening, when the proposal was made to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); when he expects a response from NICE; whether he has made an assessment of the method of processing swabs for group B streptococcus carriage in NHS trusts; and if he will bring forward proposals for the enriched culture method test to be available on the NHS.

Anne Milton (Guildford, Conservative) (20 March 2008) To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2527W, on Streptococcus screening, when the proposal was made to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); when he expects a response from NICE; whether he has made an assessment of the method of processing swabs for group B streptococcus carriage in NHS trusts; and if he will bring forward proposals for the enriched culture method test to be available on the NHS.

Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Conservative) (18 March 2008) Three out of 10 pregnant women carry the group B streptococcal bacterium, which is the most common form of life-threatening condition in new-born babies. Will the Minister with responsibility for public health agree to meet me and Group B Strep Support, which campaigns for routine screening for that condition?

Anne Milton (Guildford, Conservative) (13 March 2008): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 5th March 2008, Official Report, column 2527W, on Streptococcus screening, when the proposal was made to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); when he expects a response from NICE; whether he has made an assessment of the method of processing swabs for group B streptococcus carriage in NHS trusts; and if he will bring forward proposals for the enriched culture method test to be available on the NHS.

Anne Milton (Guildford, Conservative) (5 March 2008) To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ask the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to assess the enriched culture method test for Group B Streptococcal infections.

Anne Milton (Guildford, Conservative) (26 February 2008) To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) incidence and (b) rate per 1,000 live births of group B streptococcal infection has been in babies aged (i) 0 to six days and (ii) seven to 90 days in each strategic health authority since 1997.

Philip Hollobone (Kettering, Conservative) (21 February 2008) Will the Secretary of State for Health make a statement on the national health service’s approach to group B streptococcal infections in newborn babies? Three out of 10 pregnant women carry the GBS bacterium, which is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborn babies, affecting 700 babies a year, 75 of whom die as a result. The NHS does not routinely screen for the condition, but if it did, 80 per cent. of the infections could be treated.

Theresa May (Maidenhead, Conservative) (23 January 2008) To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether he has conducted a cost-benefit analysis of the introduction of routine screening of pregnant women for Group B Strep; (2) what steps the Government have taken to educate (a) relevant health professionals and (b) pregnant women about the symptoms and prevention of Group B Strep infections in babies; (3) what representations he has received from the Health Protection Agency on the use of the enriched culture medium (ECM) testing method for detecting Group B Strep in late pregnancy; and if he will bring forward proposals for the ECM test to be available on the NHS.

2007

Baroness Cumberlege (18 December 2007) asked Her Majesty’s government: What plans they have for screening pregnant women who are infected with Group B streptococcus; whether a meeting is planned to discuss this; and, if so, when this will take place and who will be involved.

Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead) (25 October 2007) To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 October 2007, Official Report, column 1400W, on Streptococcus: pregnant women, if he will take steps to bring the assessment of the most recent evidence on testing pregnant women for group B streptococcus forward in the ongoing programme of work of the UK National Screening Committee; and what method the Committee uses to disseminate the results of its work.

Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead) (19 October 2007) To ask the Secretary of State for Health if his Department will assess the latest evidence for testing pregnant women for group B streptococcus; and if he will make a statement.

Bob Russell (Colchester) (15 June 2007) To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will introduce enrichment culture method tests of all pregnant women to test for streptococcus B; and if she will make a statement.

John Baron (Billericay) (22 May 2007) To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the danger to pregnant women posed by infection with group B streptococcus; what plans she has (a) to introduce a national screening programme for pregnant women and (b) to raise awareness of infection among (i) women and (ii) health care professionals; what assessment she has made of the indicative reliability of (A) a high vaginal swab and (B) the enrichment culture method test; and what plans she has to make the enrichment culture method test available to women free at the point of demand on the NHS.

2006

Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East) (29 June 2006) To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for South Derbyshire (Mr. Todd) of 6 June 2005, Official Report, columns 439-41W, on streptococcus testing, what the findings were of the studies undertaken by the health technology assessment programme on prenatal screening for group B streptococcus.

Mark Todd (South Derbyshire) (17 January 2006) To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what analysis her Department has made of research and experience in other countries of Group B streptococcus screening during pregnancy; (2) what guidance is given on when a patient should be advised that Group B streptococcus has been detected in a test.

2003

David Cameron (Witney, Oxon) (9 July 2003) Group B Strep Adjournment Debate