Commons debate on deadly infection in newborns

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Jane Plumb, who set up a Haywards Heath charity to campaign for NHS testing for a potentially devastating infection affecting newborn babies, could win vital support in the House of Commons.

Nadine Dorries has secured a Commons debate on Group B Streptococcus this afternoon (THursday, November 7). Dorries is the Conservative MP for Mid-Bedfordshire and supports the work of Jane’s charity.

Group B Streptococcus is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies and approximately one newborn baby a day in the UK suffers from GBS infection, the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in that age group.

One in ten of these sick babies will die and a further one in twenty of the survivors will suffer long-term physical or mental disabilities.

Carrying group B Streptococcus during pregnancy, which approximately 25 per cent of women do, is recognised as a key risk factor for the infection developing in newborn babies and yet Jane Plumb, who founded the charity ‘Group B Strep Support’, says most women are not being told about group B Streptpcoccus by their health professionals.

Nor are they offered the opportunity to find out if they carry group B Streptococcus by using a simple, safe and inexpensive test despite this being standard practice in many developed countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Oman, Poland, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland and the USA.