A KILWINNING gran who lost her granddaughter to Strep B has spoken of her devastation at being told her fight to have all babies tested has been rejected.
Jackie Watt has been fighting to introduce routine testing for the potentially fatal Streptoccoccus B after her granddaughter Lola Young died at just 20-days old after contracting the infection in 2013.
Since then Jackie has campaigned tirelessly for changes to be made in Scotland to stop other healthy babies dying needlessly.
But after two years of fighting the 49-year-old was told this week that despite raising thousands of signatures her petition has been closed and the Scottish Parliament will not be taking any action until the UK National Screening Committee carries out a review and makes a decision on what to do.
Jackie from Ladyford Avenue, told the Times that Holyrood’s decision has been a devastating blow. She said: “I’m absolutely devastated. I just don’t know where to turn next. It feels like the last two years have been for nothing. My little granddaughter died and other babies are at risk and it’s like the Scottish Government don’t even care.” In her struggle to have all babies tested for Strep B Jackie has had the backing of local MPS and MSPs and has even given evidence in Parliament - but to no avail.
She said: “The whole thing seems so pointless. Everything we have worked so hard for has just been finished by their one decision. It’s very disappointing. We’re at a loss of what to do now.” Jane Plumb of the national charity Group Strep B Support said as Scotland has one of the highest rates of Group Strep B in the world, the Scottish Government’s decision was baffling.
She told the Times: “It’s disappointing that the Scottish Government has taken the view that they will wait for the UK National Screening Committee to conduct their review. That won’t be happening until the end of this year or beginning of next and will be looking at the issue from a UK-wide perspective and not from a Scotland-only perspective. The rate of early onset Group Strep B in Scotland is significantly higher that elsewhere, which is why this decision is baffling and begs the question; why won’t the Scottish Goverment take responsibility themselves instead of waiting for the rest of the UK?” July is group Strep B Awareness month. For more information on the cause visit https://gbss.org.uk/.