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GBS audit

The GBS audit examined current practice in preventing early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease (EOGBS).

The project was led by the RCOG and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), supported by the Royal College of Midwives and funded by the UK National Screening Committee.

Background

Group B streptococcal (GBS) disease is the most frequent cause of severe infection in babies during the first three months of life. Early-onset GBS (occurring before 7 days after birth) is most often transmitted from mother to baby around the time of delivery. Universal (routine) screening for GBS carriage is offered to pregnant women in some countries, such as the US. The UK applies a risk-based preventative strategy instead.

The RCOG has a Green-top Guideline on preventing EOGBS (2003, revised 2012) and led an audit on preventing and managing EOGBS (PDF, 2.08 mb) between 2005 and 2006. The latest GBS audit took place during 2014.

Aims of the audit

  • Investigate the implementation of the RCOG guideline (2012) on preventing EOGBS in NHS maternity units
  • Examine variation in preventive care for EOGBS 
  • Identify areas for improving adherence to the RCOG guideline and preventive care

Reports from the GBS audit

Second report, January 2016

First GBS Audit report
Second report from the GBS audit, January 2016 [PDF]

This second and final report contains the results of a survey of midwife-led units, a review of local protocols for preventing EOGBS and a review of written patient information on GBS infection. 

First report, March 2015

Read the first GBS audit report from March 2015

Error in the first report

There is an error in section 3.5.4.1 Factors for selective testing for GBS carriage on page 8, where the unit of measurement is incorrectly stated as ‘units’ instead of ‘participants’. The sentence should read: ‘Despite this guidance, the reason most frequently reported by participants for selective testing (n = 115 participants) was GBS carriage in a previous pregnancy (15.7%, n = 18/115)’.

This error has been carried forward to Appendix 4 on page 43, where it is also incorrectly stated that the unit of measurement is ‘units’ instead of ‘participants’. The sentence should read: ‘Responses were received from 115 participants’. 

Other outputs

  • Tsang C, Kelsey M, Gurol-Urganci I, Cromwell D, van der Meulen J, on behalf of the GBS audit project group. Current practice in preventing early-onset neonatal Group B Streptococcal disease: Survey of UK NHS obstetric units. Annual Academic Meeting in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, London, January 2015.
  • Tsang C, Kelsey M, Gurol-Urganci I, Cromwell D, van der Meulen J, on behalf of the GBS audit project group. Review of patient information on Group B Streptococcal infection used in UK NHS obstetric units. Annual Academic Meeting in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, London, January 2015.
  • Tsang C, Gurol-Urganci I, Cromwell D, van der Meulen J. Improving prevention of early-onset neonatal Group B Streptococcal (EOGBS) disease in the UK. Annual Academic Meeting in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, London, December 2013.

Find out more

Contact us

For more information about the audit, please email audit@rcog.org.uk.

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