In a recent survey: What Do Midwives Really Know about GBS conducted by Group B Strep Support at the Royal College of Midwives 2-day conference in November 2013, 163 midwives and student midwives provided information. Headline findings included:
- 98% of Midwives surveyed had heard of GBS
- fewer than half of Midwives (46%) had read their Hospital Trust’s GBS guidelines;
- only 16% had read the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists’ guidelines
- only 9% of Midwives did NOT want to see pregnant women offered a test for GBS carriage
- nearly half of Midwives (44%) said they did not have adequate information about group B Strep
- almost half of Midwives (49%) said they did not feel well informed enough to talk about GBS to families in their care
Group B Strep is the most common cause of severe infection in newborn babies with an incidence of culture-proven cases in babies aged 0-6 days of 0.5 per 1,000 live births and a mortality rate of 10.6% (Source: Heath PT et al, 2004). Midwives play a key role in the identification of mothers whose babies are at raised risk of these infections.
It is simply shocking that almost half of the midwives surveyed do not feel they have adequate information either for themselves or to provide the families in their care.