David Cameron MP, Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party
pictured with constituents Craig & Alison Richards
“I wholeheartedly support the tireless efforts of Jane Plumb and the rest of the team at Group B Strep Support. I know from some of my own constituents about the devastating effect group B Streptococcus (GBS) can have – but it is preventable in most cases and there is more we can do. There are two clear objectives for this GBS Awareness Week. First, we have to ensure that mothers and those working in the National Health Service know more about GBS. Second, we must keep pressure on the Government to introduce a national testing program for GBS.”
Dr Chris Steele, resident GP on ITV’s This Morning and Patron of Group B Strep Support
“I have met families affected by GBS and heard their harrowing stories. I find it incredible that in this day and age an infection that is almost entirely preventable is still killing babies in the UK. I’d like to see every pregnant woman in the UK offered a reliable test for GBS on the NHS – until then, raising awareness is the key to saving babies’ lives.”
Kate Garraway, GMTV presenter
“I was tested for GBS when I was expecting my daughter Darcey and would definitely b e tested again in any future pregnancies. It was by chance that I knew about GBS – tragically someone I know lost a baby to a GBS infection. It’s a desperate situation that babies are dying needlessly.
GBS infection is usually preventable, so routine testing on the NHS would save a lot of heartache and tragedy. I’ve signed the petition because I think every pregnant woman should be offered a test for GBS – every mother has the right to protect her baby.”
Nicholas Soames MP
pictured with GBSS Treasurer, Dawn Abbotts
“The Government has so far failed to introduce routine testing of pregnant women for GBS carriage on the NHS. Perhaps they think it’s not worth the cost. But what is the cost to the NHS of caring for the 700 newborn babies each year who develop pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia as a result of this infection, which is usually entirely preventable? Add to that, the ongoing costs of caring for the 40 or so babies who are left with permanent brain damage. Does it really pay the NHS to leave GBS infection to fate?”
Theresa May MP
pictured with Debbie Slater, GBSS’s Head of Fundraising/Chairman Philip Hollobone MP and Susanne Langley
Theresa May: “Too few people know about GBS and we should be doing all we can to make sure the message is spread far and wide. Around 75 babies a year die from GBS and many more are poorly because of it. The Government is not doing enough to make sure that pregnant women know about this infection and its impact; and know how to find out if they are a carrier and what can be done if they are. GBS can be dealt with easily and effectively, but for too long we’ve been closing our eyes to the problem.”
Philip Hollobone: “Were expectant mothers routinely tested for GBS, doctors could prevent over 4 in every 5 incidences of the most common cause of life-threatening infection in new-born babies. This is a serious issue affecting 700 babies each and every year and yet compared to the heartache of losing a baby, the solution is relatively simple and inexpensive: introduce routine testing for all pregnant women on the NHS.”
Jeffrey Donaldson MP
pictured with constituents, Susan Kyle and her children
“Hopefully, Group B Strep Awareness Week will help to highlight the dangers posed by group B Strep both amongst the medical profession and the general public.
I would like to commend the Support Group in Northern Ireland for the excellent work that they are doing to highlight the risks associated with group B Strep and to promote better testing and care in the Health Service.”
Dr Alasdair McDonnell, MP
with GBSS Chief Executive, Jane Plumb MBE
Dr McDonnell is supporting this campaign not just because he is an elected representative but because he also works as a General Practitioner in South Belfast and many of his patients are expectant mothers. He strongly believes that every pregnant mother has the right to be tested for this potentially fatal but preventable infection.
Dr Hilary Jones, Author, TV and Radio Presenter, and Head Health Editor
“Screening for GBS should be available on the NHS as part of routine antenatal care – I’ve signed the petition and encourage others to do the same.”
James Roby, English professional Rugby League player for St. Helens RFC
“When it came to selecting a charity partner for my testimonial year, the obvious choice was Group B Strep Support. In 2007 my son ‘Ollie’ was born prematurely at 34 weeks and was diagnosed with late onset Group B Strep some weeks later. Fortunately, he made a full recovery and has no lasting side effects.
At the time both my wife and I didn’t know what Group B Streptococcus was, but now we fully understand just how lucky we have been and realise that sadly this isn’t he case for everyone.
I am very pleased to be supporting a fantastic charity in the form of Group B Strep Support throughout my testimonial year. I hope to help raise awareness and assist the charity by way of donations”