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Health & Fitness Child born severely disabled at Welsh hospital gets £18 million compensation

17:55  15 november  2019
17:55  15 november  2019 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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A "remarkable" child who was born severely disabled at a Welsh hospital has won an NHS compensation package worth almost £ 18 million . The seven-year-old was starved of oxygen during a traumatic delivery at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in 2012 and will always need 24-hour care.

Friday, 15 November 2019 Child born severely disabled at Welsh hospital gets £ 18 million compensation | Green Mr The child , who is now seven, was starved of

a large white building: The Royal Glamorgan Hospital © Wales News Service The Royal Glamorgan Hospital

A "remarkable" child who was born severely disabled at a Welsh hospital has won an NHS compensation package worth almost £18 million.

The seven-year-old was starved of oxygen during a traumatic delivery at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in 2012 and will always need 24-hour care.

The child's mother suffered a ruptured uterus during the birth and the family's lawyers claimed the eventual caesarean delivery was negligently delayed.

William Featherby QC, for the child, told London's High Court that the Cwm Taf Health Board had admitted liability in full for the injuries. And, following negotiations, the board today agreed to a settlement of the claim which has a capitalised value of £17.9 million.

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Together with a £7.75 million lump sum, they will receive annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of care for life. They will start at £92,000 a year, before rising to £155,000 a year in 2031, Judge Sarah Richardson was told.

Mr Featherby told the court that the child suffers from behavioural and learning difficulties and has almost no sense of danger. The child is at high risk when crossing the road and is slow to react to pain, once suffering serious burns when they touched a hot metal plate. They can ride a tricycle if their feet are strapped to the pedals, but need a buggy or electric wheelchair over distances of more than 100 yards.

Representing the family, birth injuries specialist lawyer Diane Rostron said in an email statement: “Our client suffered a very serious, and entirely preventable, brain injury during their birth at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital."

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Child born severely disabled at Welsh hospital gets £ 18 million compensation . The child , who is now seven, was starved of oxygen during a traumatic delivery at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in 2012 and will always need 24-hour care. The child 's mother suffered a ruptured uterus during the birth and

She said that if an "essential piece of information" had been accurately recorded, the hospital would have known that there was a high risk of a uterine rupture in a second pregnancy, "prompting an early medical intervention in the lead up to our client’s birth".

She said: “Our client’s mother was admitted to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital suffering significant abdominal pain which should have raised alarms prompting urgent review by a consultant. However, she had to wait for more than an hour before being seen by a junior doctor.

“Our client’s mother was in fact suffering with an impending uterus rupture which should have led to an urgent caesarean being performed within a very short time of admission. Instead, our client’s mother continued to suffer excruciating pain with no less than a further three reviews taking place roughly on an hourly basis by junior doctors."

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She said the hospital "continued to fail in its duties and more than seven hours after being admitted with red flag symptoms, the plan remained to simply observe mother and baby" and that an emergency c-section was eventually performed eight hours after admission. She said had the urgent medical intervention taken place, the result would have been "a perfectly healthy baby and relatively minimal injuries to mum".

The child's mother said: “It has been a long seven-year battle for my family to reach this point. The plans and lifestyle we had, and should have had, have simply gone. We cannot do the things that other families take for granted with ease like going on bike rides or going to the beach. Every day is a challenge.

“Reaching a settlement will mean that we can now afford to give our child the specialist care, equipment and therapies that they will need for the rest of their life. My child will never be able to work, that’s been taken away. My child might never be able to live independently, that’s been taken away."

NHS counsel, Richard Booth QC, acknowledged that "no amount of money" could ever fully compensate the child for their birth injuries.

But he told the court: "On behalf of the board I would like to apologise wholeheartedly and unreservedly for the regrettable failings in care in this case. I would also like to pay tribute to the parents for the outstanding care that they have given."

He described the child as "remarkable" and said they would not have made the progress without parents' support.

Approving the settlement, Judge Richardson said she was "more than satisfied" that the settlement was in the child's best interests.

In response, a spokeswoman from Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said: "We are deeply sorry for the failings in the care provided to the family. We take our responsibilities for providing safe and high quality services extremely seriously.

"We are determined to ensure that lessons are learnt and improvements are made so we can provide women and families with the best possible care."

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