A mum is campaigning for all pregnant women to be tested for a potentially fatal bacterial infection after it left her son with a serious brain injury.

Bethany Ford, 23, was tested for group B strep during her labour at Epsom Hospital.

However, by the time the results testing positive for the condition came back, her son Grayson Harris was already born and admitted to the special baby care unit. The test found that group B strep had caused meningitis.

Grayson was discharged from hospital two weeks after his birth in December 2015. However, he was readmitted to hospital several weeks later. Following further tests was diagnosed as having a brain injury and now has global development delay.

Surrey Comet:

Grayson and Keith

“The first few weeks of Grayson’s life were incredibly traumatic and no parent should have to see their child suffer and struggle in the way he did," Bethany said.

"It is also difficult to take that following his birth it seemed like the doctors did not initially think there was any cause for concern.

“The older Grayson gets the more we are noticing just how far behind other children his age he is.

“We love Grayson so much and are determined to ensure that he gets the best from life. However, we think it is also vital that steps are taken to ensure that group B Strep testing is undertaken a lot earlier than it was in our case.

Grayson was discharged on New Year’s Eve but Bethany and her partner Keith Harris, 32, were devastated when he was admitted to Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children — run by the same NHS Trust as Epsom Hospital — in late January after further a recurrence of the infection.

He was diagnosed with a brain injury and now has global development delay.

Surrey Comet:

Grayson Harris

Now aged three, Grayson’s brain injury means he tends to be impulsive and can go from calm to angry very quickly. He has difficulty processing things and this has led him at times to self-harm through behaviour like pulling his own hair. He also struggles with communication issues and unsettled sleep.

Bethany and Keith instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their son’s care under Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.

Richard Kayser, expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said: “A simple test can be conducted to highlight whether and expectant mother is a carrier of the condition and her care plan can be adjusted to ensure intravenous antibiotics are provided throughout labour to prevent the infection being transmitted.

“Everything possible must be done to prevent this infection in babies.”

Epsom Hospital's Trust said it was unable to comment on this particular case as it had not received written consent from the family to do so.

However its clinical director of women and children’s services, Ramesh Ganapathy, said: “In screening for the group B streptococcal bacteria, we follow current guidelines from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

"We fully recognise how serious and in some cases, devastating, it is when this bacteria spreads to a baby.

"As a result, we have agreed in principle to take part in a trial of universal screening for group B strep.

"We hope this trial will provide the evidence needed around universal screening, and we will implement any subsequent changes to the guidelines.”