The battle against group B Strep (GBS) took a huge leap forward today with the launch of a new patient leaflet which will be provided to all pregnant women for the first time.
GBS is the UK’s most common cause of life threatening infection in newborn babies but recent surveys have shown that many pregnant women feel inadequately informed about the illness. On average two babies a day develop the infection, with one a week dying and one a week being left with life-changing disability.
Now a clear and concise patient information leaflet is to be provided to all pregnant women as part of their routine antenatal care. This was jointly written by experts at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the campaigning charity Group B Strep Support. Please click here to download the leaflet.
Jane Plumb MBE, Chief Executive of Group B Strep Support spoke about the new leaflet, “We are delighted to be working with the RCOG to raise awareness of group B Strep among pregnant women. For the first time, this new joint leaflet will provide clear, concise and consistent information to all pregnant women throughout the NHS to help improve knowledge and awareness, as well as reduce the mixed messages that are sometimes given about GBS.”
A recent survey found that only a third of pregnant women feel adequately informed about GBS and that they were more likely to hear about GBS from a friend or through personal experience, than from health professionals.
Following the RCOG’s September update to its Green-top Guideline, it is now national recommended practice to provide all pregnant women with information about GBS. This new leaflet will ensure women are equipped with high-quality information including on how to minimise the risk of infection in their baby.
RCOG Vice President for Clinical Quality said, “While many pregnant women carry GBS, in the majority of cases, their babies are born safely and without developing an infection. However, GBS infection in newborn babies can be dangerous. By providing all pregnant women with an information leaflet on GBS for the first time, we can help to raise awareness and save the lives of babies. We are pleased to have worked with Group B Strep Support on this joint project and look forward to future collaborative efforts in bringing attention to this serious infection.”