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Group B Strep

Posted on February 8, 2018 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (24)

What is group B Strep?


Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a normal bacterium which is carried by 20-40% of adults, most commonly in the gut, and for up to 25% of women, in the vagina, usually without symptoms or side-effects.


GBS can occasionally cause infection, most commonly in newborn babies, sometimes in adults and, very rarely, during pregnancy and before labour.


GBS is not a sexually transmitted disease. Treatment of a woman and her partner carrying GBS does not prevent re-colonisation.


There are two types of GBS infection in newborns: early and late-onset:


Early-onset GBS infection is more common (approximately 2/3 of cases in babies) and occurs when the baby is up to 6 days old; a key symptom is the rapid development of breathing problems, associated with blood poisoning.

Late-onset GBS infection – usually presenting as sepsis and meningitis – occurs between age 7 days and up to age 3 months. After 3 months’ old, GBS infection in babies is extremely rare.

GBS is recognised to cause preterm delivery, maternal infections, stillbirths and late miscarriages; preterm babies are known to be at particular risk of GBS infection as their immune systems are not as well developed.


Overall, even with current prevention strategies, approximately 1 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK develops group B Strep infection.


On average in the UK, at least


two babies a day develop a group B Strep infection

one baby a week dies from their GBS infection, and

one baby a week survives with long-term disabilities – physical, mental or both.

For more information about the incidence of GBS bacteraemia (blood infection) in babies aged 0-90 days in England, Wales & Northern Ireland, cl


You may also be interested in

Where to get an ECM test

The ECM test (Enriched Culture Medium test) is the international ‘gold standard’ for detecting group B Strep carriage. Find out where you can order your home testing kit today.


Current UK guidance about GBS

In the UK, all pregnant women are not routinely offered testing for group B Strep carriage, unlike in many other developed countries. Sensitive tests for GBS carriage are not widely available within the NHS, though they are available privately from less than £40.

For More info please click on the following link

Does your Child Stammer ?

Posted on February 8, 2018 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (252)

Does your young child stammer? (BSA leaflet)

BSA leaflets & information Children under 5

This leaflet was compiled by a panel of specialist speech and language therapists. Please note that 'Stammer' and 'Stutter' mean the same.


This information is for parents who are concerned about the fluency of their child's speech or who feel he* is finding it difficult to talk. It explains where you can get advice and how you can help your child be more fluent when he talks. (*This text uses 'he' for the sake of clarity and because boys are more commonly affected than girls.)


Talking and fluency

Learning to talk, like learning to walk, is never completely smooth and does not happen straight away. Young children often stop, pause, start again and stumble over words when they are learning to talk.


Between the ages of two and five years, it is normal for a child to repeat words and phrases, and hesitate with "um"s and "er"s, when he is sorting out what to say next.


However, about five in every hundred children stammer for a time when they are learning to talk. Many find it easier to talk fluently as they get older. Others continue to find talking difficult and often get stuck.


if you're worried, phone the BSA helpline


If you are concerned about you child's speech you should arrange to see a speech and language therapist who can show you how to help your child.


What is stammering speech?

You may notice your child


is putting extra effort into saying his words

has tense and jerky speech

cannot seem to get started, no sound comes out for several seconds ("... I got a teddy")

is stretching sounds in a word ("I want a ssstory")

is repeating parts of words several times ("mu-mu-mu-mu-mummy")

stops what he is saying half way through his sentence.

These examples vary from child to child - you may hear some or all of these when your child talks.


stammering can come and go - so don't put off getting help


What is known about stammering?

It is not known exactly why a child stammers; it is likely that a combination of factors is involved. There is no evidence that parents cause stammering. It is about four times more common in boys than in girls. Stammering often runs in families and occurs worldwide in all cultures and social groups.


How is fluency affected?

Whatever the age of your child, there are things he is able to do easily and some things which he finds difficult. Your child's fluency may change according to


the situation (eg: if it is noisy or quiet, rushed or relaxed, at home or in the nursery)

whether your child is talking to friends, parents or strangers

what he wants to say (eg: if it is complicated or easy, if the words are new or familiar)

how he is feeling (unwell, tired, anxious, excited or confident).

Stammering may come and go; you may notice his speech is fluent for several days, weeks or months at a time, then he stumbles and speaking becomes difficult again.


get help early - contact speech and language therapy now


How can my child be helped?

Children can be helped a great deal by a speech and language therapist. If you have any concerns about your child's speech, it is important to get advice as soon as possible.


Therapists are based in local health centres and hospitals. You can refer your child directly to your local therapist, or you can ask your family doctor or health visitor to do this for you. Speech and language therapy is available on the NHS. You may have to wait several weeks before being seen, since most therapy departments have waiting lists. The visit will be relaxed and informal.


Qualified speech and language therapist are also available privately for assessment and treatment.


What will the therapist want to know?

The speech and language therapist will ask you for information so she can understand how your child communicates.


She will involve you in the assessment, and ask you questions about your child's speech (for example, when he is fluent and when not so fluent) and about his general health and development.


The therapist will also want to speak to your child and listen to him talking and may look at other aspects of your child's communication development (eg: the way he talks and plays with others, his understanding and development of language, how he says his words and what his speech sounds like when he stammers).


After the assessment there will be time for you and your therapist to discuss your child's speech and any concerns you have. She will suggest ways in which you can help your child at home. Further appointments may be needed.


What can I do to help?

'How parents can help'


'Stammering in preschool children - how parents can help'Click to read more about how to help your preschool child.


While you are waiting for your child to see a speech and language therapist, here are some ways you can help him with his talking. You may find some of them easy, others will need practice.


If you child spends a lot of time with other family members (eg: a grandparent or aunt) or somebody else (eg: a nursery teacher or childminder) it will be helpful to ask us for a copy of our leaflet 'Does your young child stammer?' - which has all the information you see here - and show it to them.


Remember: there is no evidence that parents cause stammering. Don't blame yourself.


1. Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can give your full attention to your child in a calm relaxed atmosphere.


Spend time together - follow his lead by playing with what he wants to play with and talking about what he wants to talk about. During this time, encourage him by praising him for what he is good at (eg: "You are good at puzzles" or "That was a nice thing to do"). Make things relaxed rather then rushed.


Once you have had some special times with your child, choose one of the other points mentioned and try it out during this time.


2. Slowing down your own speech when you talk to your child will make it easier for him to follow what you are saying and help him feel less rushed. This can be more helpful then telling a child to slow down, start again or take a deep breath.


3. It may help to pause for one second before you answer him or ask a question. This slow, less hurried way of speaking gives your child time before answering.


4. Show your child you are interested in what he says, not how he says it. Look at him when he talks, then he knows you are listening and won't rush his speech.


If you are busy doing something and cannot stop, tell your child that, although you are busy, you are still listening, or explain why you cannot stop, but give him your full attention later.


5. Use the same sort of sentences your child does - keep them short and simple.


Do not expect changes in your child's speech straight away, but practising these suggestions can help your child to talk more easily.


Where can I get further help?

The British Stammering Association (BSA) can tell you how to contact your local speech and language therapy service in the UK. BSA has a confidential telephone helpline for parents which you can call for advice and information (020 8880 6590) and you can read more about stammering in young children in the following books:


'Stammering - Advice for All Ages' - Renée Byrne and Louise Wright (Sheldon Press, July 2008)


'Stuttering and Your Child: Questions and Answers', £2.95 (inc. UK p&p).




11 + Testing

Posted on June 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (6)

11+ testing aims to help parents prepare their children for the testing process they face not only aged 10, but hopefully the skills learnt will assist them well into secondary school.

We set a programme of tests which are undertaken with children from various school, under exam conditions. The idea being to get children use to the process, so they can perform to their full potential, but also we provide detailed feedback to parents who can then focus on the topic areas which their child needs assistance.

The tests are set at various levels:

- Level 1 - is aimed at Year 4 and Year 5 students, this is slightly below 11+ standard, but this test is a good introduction to the exam process. This test is one which we see as the 'starting point' you will then be able to set a programme of work to fill any gaps in knowledge.

- Level 2 - is an 11+ paper. This is set at a standard level - hopefully your child will have covered most topic areas, so this test will help you focus on the few areas that may still need reviewing.

- Level 3 is also an 11+ paper, but more challenging.


We also have parental workshops on offer whilst the children are taking the exams - on Saturday workshops running are:


- discover your child's learning style

- how to improve your child's memory

Our website is 



Posted on June 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (7)

Childcare providers in England say the system is at "breaking point" as plans to double free provision for three and four-year-olds in England are sped up.


The warning from one industry body, the Pre-School Learning Alliance, comes as ministers say trials of the new scheme are being brought forward to 2016.


The current allowance of 570 hours a year for three and four-year-olds will be doubled for working parents.


David Cameron said it would "take time" to get the policy right.


The Pre-School Learning Alliance - which represents 14,000 private, voluntary and independent groups - is warning of "meltdown" in the system because of a shortfall in government funding.





It says the grant for the existing 15 hours falls, on average, around 20% short of the true cost of providing care - £3.88 per hour compared with £4.53.


Employment Minister Priti Patel told the BBC the government accepted "funding rates need to increase" and is launching a consultation on how the policy will work in practice.


'Crunch time'


Currently, all three and four-year-olds in England are entitled to 570 hours of free early education or childcare a year, which works out as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year.


Child playing with a toy train

The Childcare Bill, announced in last week's Queen's Speech, would double this for working parents - although it is not clear yet how many hours they will have to work in order to qualify.


Ministers say up to 600,000 families could benefit, saving as much as £5,000 a year.


The change had been due to come into force from September 2017, but some working parents will be entitled to the extra help when pilots begin in September next year.


However, the alliance said many groups were already having to charge parents extra for hours of childcare not included in the scheme to make ends meet, and would struggle to deal with the changes.


"I think this is crunch time," said chief executive Neil Leitch.


"While we of course welcome the drive to improve the availability of childcare in this country, these figures clearly show the government's plan to extend funded childcare hours simply cannot work without a substantial increase in sector funding.


"The so-called 'free' childcare scheme is nothing of the sort. For years now, the initiative has been subsidised by providers and parents because of a lack of adequate government funding."