Group B Strep is a normal bacterium found in the vagina and bowel of about one in four women in the UK. It is not harmful to the carrier and is not a sexually transmitted disease.
In the UK:
2 babies a day develops a Group B Strep infection during labour and birth
1 baby a week dies from their Group B Strep infection and another survives with long-term disability
Group B Strep and pregnancy
If Group B Strep is passed from mother to baby around the time of birth there is a small chance the baby will develop an infection.
Preterm babies are at particular risk of Group B Strep infection because their immune systems are not as well-developed.
There are two types of Group B Strep infection in babies:
Early-onset — occurring in the first six days and usually apparent at birth (accounts for roughly 2/3rds of Group B Strep disease in babies)
Late-onset — occurs after six days of age, usually within one month but up to three months after birth
How can Group B Strep be detected?
Group B Strep carriage can be detected by taking swabs from the vagina and rectum and sending them to the laboratory. Group B Strep carriage can come and go so testing usually takes place from 35 weeks of pregnancy.
How can the risk to babies from Group B Strep be reduced?
Where pregnant women are known to be carrying Group B Strep, they will be offered antibiotics during labour.
Why should pharmacy be involved with Group B Strep testing?
Community pharmacies (with NHS contracts) in England and Wales will see an average of around 56 live babies born to their patients each year (some may be multiple births), in Scotland the figure is around 44. Testing for Group B Strep is not routinely available on the NHS.
Patients who want to get tested often have to seek private testing — patients currently either need to find a private clinic or order a home test online. Community pharmacies can offer a place to purchase Group B Strep home testing kits along with offering information on Group B Strep and supporting women during pregnancy.
How to get involved: improving patient outcomes before birth
Connect2Pharma has teamed up with The Doctors Laboratory enabling you to order home-testing kits to sell in the pharmacy. The testing kits are ECM (Enriched Culture Medium) testing kits – those described by Public Health England as being suitable for testing Group B Strep.
• Community pharmacists can order the tests for pharmacy stock at a cost of £1 per test (plus VAT)
• The patient then purchases the testing kit from the community pharmacy and pays the RRP of £35 (as a professional service this is exempt from VAT)
• A request form showing the Pharmacy Source code will be enclosed with the kit so The Doctors Laboratory can identify the pharmacy from where the Group B Strep kit was purchased
• Upon receiving the swabs from the patient, The Doctors Laboratory invoice the pharmacy for £28 leaving the pharmacy with £6 per test soldPlease note: if the patient buys the test and never takes the swabs, the pharmacy will not be invoiced and will keep the whole £35
• The charity GBBS have a wide range of free materials that can be ordered here to help you market the service also:http://gbss.org.uk/online-shop/
How to order:
To order the tests, simply click the button below or email firstname.lastname@example.org and add the following details:
Pharmacy Address for delivery:
Invoice address (if different):
Contact name: Contact phone number:
Number of Group B Strep kits (multiples of 5):
Please note: Tests will be delivered first week of May 2017Testing for Group B Streptococcus