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Barking, Havering and Redbridge's NHS trust agrees £11million settlement with boy left brain damaged after birth at Romford hospital

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 April 2019

Romford Town centre gv's. Queen's Hospital

Romford Town centre gv's. Queen's Hospital

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The NHS trust which runs Queen's Hospital has reached an £11m High Court settlement with a 12-year-old boy who was left disabled by a brain injury suffered during birth.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, tragically suffered irreversible brain damage shortly after his birth causing cerebral palsy, and the settlement reached with Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust (BHRUT) will provide him with the specialist care he needs for the rest of his life.

The boy became hypoglycaemic in the hours following his birth at Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, Romford.

As a result of this, he has grown up with severe learning disabilities, motor problems visual impairment and cannot communicate.

He requires round the clock care and is fed through a tube.

The settlement will also pay for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, adapted accommodation, aids and equipment and an adapted vehicle.

His life expectancy is also significantly reduced as a result of his injuries.

Following the incident, the boy’s parents, instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care under BHRUT.

Lawyers argued the boy’s injuries were caused by midwifery staff failing to recognise that he was suffering from hypoglycaemia and take effective action to reverse this.

BHRUT – which also runs King George Hospital in Barley Lane, Goodmayes – has never admitted liability but in 2017 an agreement was reached between the parties for the defendant trust to pay 75 per cent of the full value of the claim.

Following a further period to investigate the boy’s needs, a settlement was reached during negotiations between the parties which is worth approximately £11million over the boy’s lifetime.

The settlement is broken down into a £3million lump sum plus annual tax free periodical payments to pay for care in the sum of £200,000 per annum until 2024 and then £237,500 each year after that for the rest of his life.

The settlement was approved by Mrs Justice Thornton at the High Court on Monday, March 18.

Auriana Griffiths, partner and specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said: “While we are pleased with the outcome of the High Court hearing, no amount of money can ever make up for the severe and lifelong injuries the boy has suffered.

“Like in many cases where a person suffers a brain injury as a child, our client has had to wait many years for doctors to fully establish the true extent of his injuries and for settlement to be reached.

“This settlement has been carefully calculated to provide for his care needs for the rest of his life and will result in improved quality of life for both the boy and his family.”

The boy’s parents added: “While the last few years have been extremely hard for us we try to lead as normal a life as possible and do the things any family would enjoy.

“While nothing can make up for what has happened, we are relieved that our son will now have guaranteed payments to help cover the cost of his care for however long he lives. This gives us great peace of mind.”

Dr Magda Smith, BHRUT’s chief medical officer, said the trust understands that the boy’s injuries will have life-long implications and challenges for him and his family.

She added: “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to work together to ensure they will all now be supported appropriately for the future.

“Whilst the settlement reflects the continuing uncertainty about whether the injury shortly after his birth could have been avoided, we have reflected carefully on some of the shortcomings identified. We are sorry for these and for any injuries which may have occurred as a result.”

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