Teenager starved of oxygen at birth in Norfolk hospital to get millions in compensation
PUBLISHED: 17:52 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:11 09 June 2020
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
A teenager who was left with disabilities because of mistakes made when he was born at a Norfolk hospital is to get millions of pounds in compensation to help him and his family cope with his needs.
The boy’s mother was praised for her “exemplary” care for the teenager, who was starved of oxygen before his delivery at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.
He went into spasm soon after being resuscitated and suffered permanent brain damage, Mr Justice Garnham told the High Court.
Now approaching adulthood, the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has cerebral palsy. Physically and mentally disabled, his behaviour can be challenging, the court heard.
His mother has cared for him “almost exclusively and single-handedly” throughout his life, said his barrister, Angus McCullough QC.
The QEH NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability in full for his injuries and has agreed to a final settlement of his claim.
Together with a lump sum of £4,850,000, the teenager will receive index-linked payments of £171,000 a year to cover the costs of his care for life.
NHS counsel, Richard Booth QC, said the trust’s chief executive had written a letter of apology to the boy and his family in 2017.
The barrister added: “I take the opportunity to repeat that wholehearted and unreserved apology for the failings in care.”
Paying tribute to the boy’s mother, he described her care for her son as “exemplary.”
Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Garnham also praised the mother’s “enormous sacrifice and dedication”.
The trust, he added, had acted “prudently and realistically” in agreeing to the “thoroughly sensible” settlement of the case.
Caroline Shaw, chief executive of the QEH trust, said: “We are deeply sorry for the serious failings in our care that led to today’s settlement.
“The care we provided to this patient and their family fell well below the standards we would expect of our trust.
“While no amount of money can compensate for, or undo the harm and distress the patient and their family have experienced, we hope this settlement provides the patient with full financial security for the future.”
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