A KILWINNING grandmother fighting to introduce routine testing for “Strep B” has lashed out at Holyrood chiefs.
Jackie Watt has vented her frustration at MSPs after a lack of progression with her petition to introduce routine testing for and raise awareness of Streptoccoccus B.
The Times has told in the past how Jackie’s granddaughter Lola Young tragically died at only 20-days old after contracting Strep B in 2013.
Since then, Jackie along with her family and friends have campaigned tirelessly to make sure Lola’s death was not in vain, lodging a petition with the Scottish Parliament which amassed over 1,000 signatures.
But Jackie insists she is fed-up with the slow progress of the petitions procedure over a year since she first gave evidence in Parliament.
The Times told last year how Jackie joined Jane Plumb of the Group B Strep Support Charity to give evidence at Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee.
Jackie’s petition was considered at the committee’s most recent meeting last Tuesday (January 13) but members only discussed the issue for just over two minutes.
The committee once again agreed to write to the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland about the issue - a year after previously agreeing to do so.
Speaking to the Times this week, Jackie expressed her disappointment with the process and believes she is receiving no answers from MSPs.
She said: “They didn’t ask the questions I’d asked at the committee so they’ve went unanswered.
“I think they are basically looking to pass the buck, I’m not getting the answers to my questions.
“I was watching the coverage of the debate and they only discussed it for about two minutes so that was disappointing.
“It was over a year ago now that they wrote to the Government and the NHS so they’re just going to ask them to consider it again.
“What they should consider is the support groups in England. People are affected by this weekly, not occasionally.
“The illness is not as rare as they think.” Despite her frustration with the committee, Jackie praised local MSP Margaret McDougall for raising the issue during a Holyrood debate.
She added: “The petition is still open so that’s positive but I’m basically having to just sit and wait, I’m not getting any further.
“I was pleased to see Margaret McDougall raised the issue in the Parliament again, hopefully I’ll be able to speak to her about what I’m doing soon. The more people involved with the campaign the better.
“I was previously going to set up a support group but the interest for something like that doesn’t exist in Scotland.
“At the moment it’s like hitting a brick wall.”