We, like many others, have now submitted our comments on the report prepared by Bazian Ltd for the UK National Screening Committee. It will come as no surprise that we have said we think the report's conclusion that there is insufficient new evidence to recommend a change in policy is wrong. Nor that we recommend screening should be introduced.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has done so much to encourage the NSC to recommend screening:
To the members of the charity's medical advisory panel, and to other dedicated health professionals, who have ensured that information we provide is accurate. They have so generously given their free time and expertise: attending meetings, responding to countless emails, talking on the phone for hours, reviewing and improving documents. The charity would be lost without them and - although we always appreciate them - their support over the last 6 months cranking up to the submission today has been simply astonishing.
To the charity's supporters - well, what can I say? There are so many incredibly passionate and informed people out there, all working so hard to improve the prevention of group B Strep infection in newborn babies in the UK. Some are working with others. Many are working alone. The number of you who wrote to the National Screening Committee asking them to introduce antenatal GBS screening was incredible. Many had been affected in some way. Some had found they carried GBS when they or their partner was pregnant and all had been fine. For other, their babies had spent days, weeks, months in hospital recovering from their GBS infection. For others, their babies had died from GBS infection. And for others, it wasn't a personal experience of GBS, but of someone near and dear to them that triggered their response. We have been encouraged by the number of responses, amazed and your eloquence, and frankly in tears at some of your stories. Every single one of you working to improve prevention for others.
To the charity's tiny team of staff, and to our executive committee members. Well, talk about pulling out all the stops! These wonderful folk couldn't have worked any harder or any smarter. We are truly blessed by them all.
Everyone has played such an important part in making this UK National Screening Committee review of antenatal screening for GBS the best it could be.
The next UK National Screening Committee meeting is due to be held on 13th November 2012. We understand that GBS screening will be discussed at that meeting and a decision is expected in December. The decision will be published on the NSC website at screening.nhs.uk/groupbstre...
We, like you, will be watching!