Group B Strep Support has responded to a report by the Health and Social Care Committee on maternity safety in England.
The report covers a wide range of topics, and includes a section acknowledging group B Strep as “the most frequently identified cause of severe infection in newborns” and that at least one baby a week in the United Kingdom dies from group B Strep infection, with 70 babies a year being left with lifelong disabilities as a result of contracting meningitis or sepsis in their first days of life.
It notes that national clinical guidelines recommend all pregnant women be given information about group B Strep, and that the gold standard ECM testing be used to detect group B Strep carriage.
Following meetings with Nadine Dorries MP, Minister of State for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, she wrote to CEOs of all NHS trusts about group B Strep, making clear that trusts “ensure that they are using the ECM testing as of the moment they receive the letter”.
The charity is continuing to press this issue to end the postcode lottery of group B Strep prevention and treatment across the UK.
“We welcome this report and are pleased it highlights the need for hospitals to follow national clinical guidelines on group B Strep.
Too many trusts are still NOT providing all pregnant women with information on group B Strep. And even more are not using the group B Strep specific ECM method to test for group B Strep carriage. This is not good enough. Babies and their families are suffering as a result.”Jane Plumb MBE, GBSS Chief Executive