New national learning report on group B strep in pregnancy

GBS - Group B Strep

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has today (Thursday 16 July 16) published a report on the impact of Group B Strep (GBS). This is the first of their maternity-themed reports, which have been drawn from individual maternity investigations across the country, having paused several publications back in March due to COVID-19.

The report highlighted that some women where not receiving information on GBS during pregnancy in line with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) national guidance. In eight cases HSIB looked at, the information shared with mothers during pregnancy was insufficient.  It also noted that the advice given to women in early labour was variable and teams observed mothers being encouraged to stay at home if possible when they called maternity triage services.

Commenting, Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director for Professional at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “There is much to learn from this latest report. Its recommendations cover what midwives and those working in maternity services already know as best practice when caring for pregnant women with group B Strep. It is therefore disappointing that some women were not receiving enough information on group b strep from their midwives during pregnancy.”

The RCM supports UK guidelines aimed at reducing early onset of GBS in new-born babies and has developed an i-learn module for its members on GBS infection in babies which focuses on how to give new and expectant parents advice and information amongst other key information.

Birte added: “We would encourage all our members to take time to use this i-learn module which will help them better recognise what the signs of group B Strep infections are. It’s also crucial that Trusts and Boards which are not following national guidance and best practice, learn from this report by looking at services who are doing well when it comes to caring for women with Group B Strep.”

Full report here.