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Death of Shropshire baby brings back heartbreak for campaigner

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A mother who lost her baby at 11 hours old to a deadly infection today backed calls for a screening programme to be introduced.

Hayley Matthews has joined calls for more to be done to combat group B streptococcus, after losing her son Jack Stephen Burn.

She said she was saddened to hear more families had been through what she had experienced, after hearing of the outcome of the inquest into the death of baby Pippa Griffiths. The 31-year-old, of Stirchley, is fighting to get coroners to reopen inquiries into her son's death and has been working for two years for investigations into the circumstances surrounding his birth.

She has joined calls from other parents affected by the illness for greater screening against the infection.

Hayley lost her son Jack Stephen Burn on March 16, 2015, just 11 hours after he was born.

She said Jack's death was put down to him contracting group B streptococcus, also known as Strep B or GBS, a life-threatening infection for newborns.

But she added: "Reading about what happened just brought it all back to me.

"I am sad to hear that it is still happening to people."

Hayley said she has had solicitors working on her case for two years, and has even had a report into Jack's death put together by professionals.

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She added: "Something needs to be done, I lost my little boy, others are losing their children.

"You aren't told enough about it."

Group B strep is the UK's most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, causing meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia.

Carried normally by one in every four women, the group B strep bacteria can pass from a pregnant woman to her baby around birth with potentially devastating consequences for the baby.

A petition signed by 250,000 people was recently taken by campaigners to the House of Commons in January to make testing for group B streptococcus routinely and freely available for all pregnant women.

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