Group B Streptococcus Screening Programme

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th May 2013.

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Photo of Alex Neil Alex Neil Scottish National Party

I am always happy to meet a member to discuss a constituency case. Obviously, I am aware of the case that Margaret McDougall cites and all our thoughts are with the family.

The concerns that the NCS raised regarding screening of all pregnant women followed the submission of many hundreds of pages of evidence, as well as consultation of experts and the clinical community throughout the UK. Its conclusion was that national screening would not prevent all deaths and disability from EOGBS. The potential harm that could be caused by administration of antibiotics to many thousands of pregnant women was a major factor in its decision, given the very low risk of harm from the disease.

The NCS has considered the matter in a great deal of detail. The balance came down in favour of not screening all women, because that would not be appropriate.

I am obviously happy to meet Margaret McDougall to discuss the issue and to fill her in on any more details that would be helpful to her and her constituents.