Natalie must continue the campaign for that £10 test

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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You can only admire Natalie Frost’s courage and determination.

Not only did she and husband Mike lose their baby daughter. But also, amid the heartbreak, she has continued to campaign to prevent the same thing happening to others.

Their baby, Ella, was stillborn. She died in the womb after contracting group B streptococcus (GBS).

And ever since that life-changing moment, Natalie has been fighting to raise awareness of the condition.

She also joined the crusade to convince authorities nationally that all mums should be tested to see if they have the bacteria.

She wanted all pregnant women to be screened and treated if necessary – a position supported by the charity Group B Strep Support.

As we report today, the germ is found in about 25 per cent of women.

It often causes no ill effects and can be treated with antibiotics.

A test for it is available and costs about £10. However, you cannot get it via the NHS.

And there, probably, is the rub.

The National Screening Committee has rejected the charity’s call.

It says that screening women at 35 to 37 weeks would have a limited impact on the worst effects of GBS and its members were apparently worried about the potential harm the test might cause.

We suspect that, as with everything in the NHS, the real reason behind the refusal is the cost to the public purse.

That £10 price tag might seem negligible, but multiply that by the number of women in Britain who become pregnant each year and the sum becomes enormous.

Of course, conducting a test like this should not boil down to money. But in this age of austerity when cash is so tight, you can, perhaps, understand the thinking.

Natalie says: ‘We are heartbroken and very angry about the decision, not only because they are not going to screen for GBS but also they are not going to inform women about the risks.’

To her credit, she has pledged to fight on and raise awareness of the issue and get that routine screening. We wish her well.