Honestly, I don't quite know what to say. The UK NSC has now said that screening will not be recommended and their policy will not be reviewed before 2015/6 unless new evidence emerges.
Their website screening.nhs.uk/groupbstre... includes most of the 212 responses they received during the public consultation on antenatal GBS screening over the summer.
In deciding against the introduction of screening, the UK National Screening Committee is flying in the face of the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the consultation comments they received from families, health professionals, charities and professional bodies. In total, they received 212 written responses in total, publishing 207 on their website. Of these, 93% were in favour of introducing screening for group B Strep in pregnancy.
In addition, although they've published the consultation comments on their website, there are no responses to the points made. Were they read? Were they taken into account? Will there be any response to the individuals, charities, medical bodies and health professionals who commented? Was it all a waste of time?
At GBSS, we are a mixture of stunned, disappointed, angry, frustrated and simply heartbroken that this decision means that so many families are going to have their lives blighted by group B Strep infection in their baby which could and should have been prevented through screening. What a lost opportunity!
However, this isn't and can't be the end. The momentum for screening continues to grow and we, like you, will continue to press for change.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to bring about change - I'm so very sorry that this hasn't come to fruition but we at GBSS will continue to do all we can to prevent preventable GBS infection in babies.