Group B Strep Support
Group B Strep Support (GBSS) is the world’s leading charity working to eradicate group B Strep infection in babies. GBSS is a small charity, founded in 1996 by Jane Plumb (the current CEO) and her husband, Robert, after their middle child died from group B Strep infection.
Group B Strep today
Group B Streptococcus (GBS or Strep B) is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies, causing sepsis, pneumonia, or meningitis.
Two babies on average develop GBS infection in the UK every day. Tragically one of those sick babies dies every week and one survivor is left with long-term disability.
England’s rate of group B Strep infection in babies rose by 77% between 1996 and 2020.
The rate of group B Strep infection in infants in England is currently more than double that of many other high-income countries, many of which have introduced routine antenatal screening for GBS.
What needs to change
Most group B Strep infections in babies are preventable.
We want all expectant mothers in the UK to be informed about group B Strep as a routine part of antenatal care.
We want all women in the UK to be offered a GBS test as part of a national screening programme.
In the future, we want a safe and effective vaccine that could be the best route to eliminating group B Strep infections in babies.
“Following our middle child’s group B Strep infection in 1996, Robert and I found few answers to the questions we had. Luckily, we very quickly made contact with an expert in the field and, after he explained how preventable most group B Strep infection in newborn babies is – and how so few health professionals at the time were aware of good prevention measures – we decided to set up a charity.”Jane Plumb MBE, ChiEf Executive
How we make change happen
We educate health professionals, ensuring they are up to speed on the latest guidelines and best practice.
We raise awareness among parents and expectant parents about GBS infections and how they can be prevented.
We support families affected by providing confidential support and information.
We support the research into group B Strep, particularly relating to protection against and treatment for these infections in babies.
We campaign for the introduction of a national screening programme and improvements to prevention and treatment.
We support the development of a safe and effective vaccine.
What changes have there been?
Because of the charity’s work:
We now have national guidance about group B Strep
Over 80% of pregnant and new mothers have heard of group B Strep
Free information on group B Strep is available to every UK maternity unit
There is a highly respected source of good quality information available to concerned pregnant women and parents and health professionals
The issue of improving, group B strep prevention remains on the agenda of the national decision-making bodies
Most importantly, babies, children and adults are alive and well today who wouldn’t otherwise be.
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