A seven-year-old boy is to receive £8 million in clinical negligence compensation after he was left with brain damage due to medical errors made by clinicians after his birth.
The child, who has not been identified, was delivered at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham in November 2006. He suffered complications after his birth and had to be resuscitated by doctors. However, medical mistakes were made and the baby was left with serious brain damage.
The young boy now suffers from profound Cerebral Palsy and acute learning difficulties. His parents decided to take legal action against the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. Now £8 million clinical negligence compensation has been agreed after Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability.
The family will initially be paid a compensation amount of £3.25 million, this will be followed by further compensation payments every year starting at £146,500, which will be tax-free and index-linked.
When the boy reaches the age of 19, the value of the payments will go up to £230,000. This will enable the family to cover the cost of ensuring a team of carers is on hand to support him every day.
Peter Homa, Chief Executive of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said, "Whilst no amount of money can compensate for, nor undo the harm and distress the family have experienced as a result of this tragic case, we hope this settlement provides the family with financial security for the future."
Judge said Medical Treatment was Inadequate
Mr Justice Lewis, the Judge who presided over the clinical negligence case, was critical of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, saying that staff at the Queen's Medical Centre had failed to provide "adequate treatment" for the child following his birth.
"There were deficiencies in the way the hospital dealt with the need to resuscitate him," he stated.
However, the Judge stated that the compensation package is just, appropriate and will ensure that the boy's care requirements are met throughout his entire life.
Furthermore, Mr Justice Lewis pointed out that the NHS hospital has taken steps to address what went wrong in this particular case. This, he stated, means that other families are unlikely to experience the same difficulties in the future.
Mr Justice Lewis added that the boy's parents should be commended for being so dedicated to providing their child with adequate care.
NHS Trust Commits to Openness & Transparency
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has this week announced its backing for the Sign up to Safety campaign being run by NHS England.
This initiative pushes the message that hospitals should listen to the views of patients, carers and employees and take steps to improve safety standards. Encouraging a culture of greater openness and transparency is also being promoted as a good way to deliver better health outcomes.
Mr Homa insisted that boosting safety standards and the patient experience are the Trust's top priorities and said that while it is making improvements every year, it can still do better.
"We encourage a culture of openness at our hospitals," he stated. "From the Trust board to each hospital ward and department, we are absolutely committed to ensuring the fundamentals of patient care are consistently delivered to patients."
By Francesca Witney