Family pharmacy supports pregnant women with new bug-busting service

Weldricks superintendent pharmacist Richard Wells
Weldricks superintendent pharmacist Richard Wells

A leading family pharmacy chain is set to offer expectant mums across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire a long awaited test for dreaded bacteria.

Weldricks, with branches across this area, is waging war on most common cause of life-threatening infection in babies ... Group B Streptococcus.

The common bug can result in sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis with one new-born every week tragically dying from the infection across the UK.

Campaigning charity Group B Strep Support (one of whose explanatory videos is shared here) welcomes testing for bacteria typically found in the vagina or digestive system.

Explains Richard Wells, superintendent pharmacist at Weldricks: “There are no symptoms of carrying GBS.

"Therefore the only way to find out whether you have the bacteria is through testing. If detected during a pregnancy, women can then be offered intravenous antibiotics in labour. These will massively reduce the risk of the newborn baby developing an infection.”

Weldricks now supply Group B Strep test kit

Weldricks now supply Group B Strep test kit

He continues: "It’s this very reason why we have chosen to offer the test in every community in which we have a presence as testing is not routinely available on the NHS. Around 40 of our branches will supply the test at a cost of £35.

"It’s easy to administer in the comfort of your own home. Simply use the swabs in the kit to collect samples, fill out a contact detail form and then send the kit off to the laboratory. The lab will then complete the test and send results direct to the individual.”

Concludes Richard: “Our board of directors unanimously agreed we should add the test to the wide variety of community pharmacy services we already provide. It aligns with our family philosophy – serving both individuals and families and women pre-pregnancy, during and hopefully long after.”

For more information about the test and support contact Group B Strep Support on 01444 416176 or visit their www.gbss.org.uk website.