Why Guess?

/Why Guess?
Why Guess? 2017-05-26T11:11:53+00:00
Why Guess when you can test?

What is the #WhyGuess campaign?

The Why Guess … when you can test? campaign wants to stop healthcare professionals having to guess whether a pregnant woman is carrying the potentially harmful group B Strep bacteria. It wants pregnant women and their health professionals to have easy access to the gold standard ECM (Enriched Culture Medium) test, a test specifically designed to detect GBS carriage and described by Public Health England in their UK Standard.

Most group B Strep infections in newborn babies are preventable yet, on average in the UK, at least:

  • Two babies a day develop group B Strep infection
  • One baby a week dies from group B Strep infection
  • One baby a week recovers from their group B Strep infection with long-term disabilities – physical, mental, or both

Group B Strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies and the leading cause of meningitis in babies under three months. The rate of group B Strep infection in newborn babies in the UK has risen over the past 10 years, despite well-implemented risk-based prevention guidelines.

The current test used in the UK is poor at detecting GBS, missing up to 50% of carriers – little better than flipping a coin. It’s time to change.

#WhyGuess

What is the ECM test?

The ECM test is safe, simple and GBS-specific. It can accurately detect who is and who is not carrying group B Strep, enabling antibiotics to be targeted at women whose babies are at higher risk. These reduce the risk of the baby developing GBS infection, averting potentially devastating harm.

In the UK, the gold standard ECM (enriched culture medium) test, described by Public Health England in their UK standard, is rarely available in the NHS – when a health professional requests a test for group B Strep carriage, a substandard test is commonly used, that can miss 50% of women carrying GBS.

Why are health professionals having to rely on a test for group B Strep carriage that gives results that are little better than guesswork? The ECM test should be available.

The “Why Guess … when you can test?” campaign wants to stop healthcare professionals having to guess whether a pregnant woman is carrying the potentially harmful group B Strep bacteria. It wants them to have easy access to the gold standard ECM test, a test specifically designed to detect GBS carriage.

Six things you can do right now

If you’ve got one minute:

  • Show your support of the Why Guess? campaign by signing up in the form below, and sharing your reason why.

If you’ve got five minutes:

  • Watch Charlotte Heath talk about her family’s experience of group B Strep, then share the video on social media.

If you’ve got more than ten minutes:

  • Write to your Member of Parliament asking them to write to the Health Minister on the issue.
  • Plus get in touch with your local media – Newspapers, Radio, TV – tell them about the Why Guess? campaign and why and how you’re supporting it.
  • Organise a fundraising event in support of the Why Guess campaign – there are lots of ideas here.

Please also sign Fiona Paddon’s change.org/GBS petition which she launched on 1 July 2015 following the death of her son. It has almost 300,000 signature – please sign it & share it. Informing expectant parents about group B Strep, and ensuring Mums have access to the GBS-specific test during pregnancy, could make all the difference in the world to some families.

Join the Why Guess? campaign

NB By filling in this form, you are agreeing to your name and comment being displayed online in support of the Why Guess? campaign.

* Mandatory fields

Total submissions to Date: 326

Most Recent 5 Submissions

Name About You (your job role/organisation you represent) I support the Why Guess? campaign because ... (please explain why)
Emily Foster Lead for Clinical Learning Environment for Adult Nursing Patients and health professionals shouldn\'t have to guess about whether babies are safe and whether Mums need antibiotics.
Peter Todd Solicitor and Partner/Member of Hodge Jones and Allen LLP One small test can save huge problems! It\'s a no-brainer!
Lisa Registered Nurse Last week my sister gave birth to her second child - the actual birth was fine - baby spiked a temperature and was started on anti- biotics - blood culture results showed and infection and then my newborn niece had to have a lumbar puncture - how do you console your sister when she is so scared? When she thinks her newborn might die! I cannot believe that this test is not automatically part of the maternity care - it is in USA and Australia!! My niece is thankfully negative for meningitis and hopefully will be going home on Saturday following 10 days of IV anti biotics - tests, procedures, medications and unknown amounts of stress - all potentially preventable if this test had been available! Awful situation to be in and my condolences go to any families affected by neonatal infections from Strep B
Lisa Registered Nurse Last week my sister gave birth to her second child - the actual birth was fine - baby spiked a temperature and was started on anti- biotics - blood culture results showed and infection and then my newborn niece had to have a lumbar puncture - how do you console your sister when she is so scared? When she thinks her newborn might die! I cannot believe that this test is not automatically part of the maternity care - it is in USA and Australia!! My niece is thankfully negative for meningitis and hopefully will be going home on Saturday following 10 days of IV anti biotics - tests, procedures, medications and unknown amounts of stress - all potentially preventable if this test had been available! Awful situation to be in and my condolences go to any families affected by neonatal infections from Strep B
Sarah-Jane Rooney Meningitis survivor I know of at least three babies in my extended family who have due to group b strep.

Supporters of the #WhyGuess campaign

Latest News on the #WhyGuess campaign

Burgess Hill Town Council Backs ‘Why Guess When You Can Test?’ Campaign

October 8th, 2015|0 Comments

We’re please to announce that Burgess Hill Town Council supports the Why Guess … when you can test? campaign.

“Burgess Hill Town Council supports the Group B Strep Support (GBSS) aims for every pregnant woman to be offered […]

Babyworld Backs ‘Why Guess When You Can Test?’ Campaign

September 24th, 2015|0 Comments

We’re please to announce that Babyworld supports the Why Guess … when you can test? campaign.

“Babyworld supports the #WhyGuess campaign because we completely support Group B Strep in their campaign to make every mum-to-be aware and […]

Meningitis Now Backs ‘Why Guess When You Can Test?’ Campaign

September 23rd, 2015|0 Comments

We are excited to announce that national charity Meningitis Now supports the Why Guess … when you can test? campaign.

“”Meningitis Now supports the #WhyGuess campaign because we see the devastation caused […]

ICP Support Backs ‘Why Guess When You Can Test?’ Campaign

September 22nd, 2015|0 Comments

We are excited to announce that national charity ICP Support supports the Why Guess … when you can test? campaign.

“At ICP Support, we appreciate the importance of women having access to […]