Hospital’s payout to brain-damaged boy
A YOUNG boy who suffered devastating brain damage during his birth has received a £ .3 million payout from Peterborough’s hospital provider.
The 15-year-old was left with cerebral palsy after unnecessary delays to his delivery at Peterborough Maternity Unit in 1996.
Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust yesterday apologised to the boy - who cannot be named for legal reasons - and his parents and agreed to pay damages of £2.3 million at London’s High Court.
The trust will also pay substantial annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the huge costs of his care for the rest of the life.
The boy’s mother was admitted to hospital when 35-weeks pregnant APOLOGY: Medical director John Randall. after suffering a spontaneous rupture during an otherwise normal pregnancy.
Despite her baby’s heart rate dropping and rising over the following hours, the baby was not delivered until nearly 24 hours after admission and was not breathing when he came into the world.
The tot was resuscitated 10 min- utes later, but was left with permanent brain damage. Doctors say he will never be able to work and will need significant care for the rest of his life.
After the trust admitted liability for his injuries, trust barrister Neil Block QC said: “Nothing can bring back what you really want, nothing can turn back the clock, although we hope lessons have been learnt.
“Money can never replace what you and your son have lost but we hope this settlement will remove one worry from your shoulders.
“It is clear to us that, over the last 15 or so years, you have provided loving and devoted care, which one can only stand back and admire and which has had a very positive effect for your son.”
Approving the compensation settlement, senior judge Mr Justice Walker praised the way the boy’s parents have handled the tragedy.
He told the court: “I pay tribute to him for coping in his own fashion with all that has befallen him, and I pay tribute to all those who are con- tributing to his care.
“In this regard, I particularly mention his family, who from an early stage have made great sacrifices to give him the best possible quality of life.”
The cash paid out by the trust, which is currently mired in financial difficulties, will come from the Government’s insurance scheme, the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) and as such will not impact on its budget.
John Randall, medical director for the trust, said: “The trust is pleased that the settlement has now been agreed and we wish the claimant and his family all the best for the future.
“We have previously given a full written apology in relation to the care given during labour. We, at the time fully investigated the case and we reviewed our training in relation to the monitoring of baby’s heart rate during labour.
“We subsequently revised the training for doctors and midwives accordingly.”