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Mum calls for routine rollout of home test amid claims it could identify Group B Strep and save babies' lives

Louise Simmonds's baby nearly died after developing the bacterial infection Credit: ITV News Calendar

A woman from South Yorkshire, whose newborn baby almost died after developing a bacterial infection, is calling on all women to be routinely screened.

Group B Strep kills one newborn baby every week in the UK – but many women have never heard of it.

The infection, which can be passed on from mother to baby during labour, can be identified with a simple test. It is already screened for in Australia, America and Canada – but it isn't available on the NHS.

Now Louise Simmonds, who works in Lincolnshire as a primary school headteacher, is calling on the government to change their policy.

Jane Plumb, the chief executive of the Group B Strep Support group, says
one survivor every fortnight recovers but is left with long-term disability.

However, Public Health England have said they will not introduce national screening.

"There is no test that can distinguish between women whose babies would be affected at birth and those who would not.

"This means that screening in pregnancy would lead to many thousands of women receiving antibiotics in labour when there is no benefit for them, or the babies, and the harms this may cause are still unknown."

– Public Health England