Ensuring pregnant women are fully informed about group B Strep

23rd March 2022 Clinical Negligence

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) recommends that all pregnant women should be provided with information on group B Strep (GBS), specifically suggesting that they should be given an information leaflet.

Ensuring pregnant women know what GBS is, are aware of its’ risks, how to reduce those risks, the tests they can undergo, how GBS can be treated, and the symptoms to look out for in their babies is vital.

On average in the UK and Republic of Ireland 66 babies are diagnosed with GBS each month, and whilst most of those make a full recovery, sadly six will be left with long- term disabilities and four babies will die.

Despite these worrying statistics, many people have not heard of GBS and still in the UK the NHS does not routinely test all pregnant women for GBS. That means that sadly some families don’t find out about GBS until it is too late for them to avoid tragedy.

That is why we are working with the charity GBSS to raise awareness of GBS and taking this opportunity to promote their information leaflet ‘Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in pregnancy and newborn babies’

The leaflet was written in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and is informative and easy to read. It is designed for families but also for use by NHS staff and organisations to meet the RCOG recommendation that all pregnant women should be given the information contained in the leaflet.

Not only that, it has been translated from English into 14 other languages, including Arabic, French, Somali and Polish so the information is accessible to those for whom English is not their first language.

Nicola Wainwright partner and head of JMW’s London’s clinical negligence team. said

Having helped too many families whose babies have suffered injury or died as a result of GBS, we want to thank GBSS for producing this leaflet which is an invaluable resource that will help to raise awareness of GBS amongst pregnant women. It is wonderful that this crucial information is accessible to so many for whom English is not their first language.

 We hope that NHS staff and organisations providing maternity care will use this resource to ensure that all the women in their care are fully informed about GBS’.

The translated leaflets can be found here.  

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Nicola Wainwright is a Partner and Head of London Clinical Negligence located in Londonin our Clinical Negligence department

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