£8.5m birth blunder payout

Barnsley Hospital'       See Story Martin Slack Picture Chris Lawton'18 July  2011
Barnsley Hospital' See Story Martin Slack Picture Chris Lawton'18 July 2011
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A hospital trust has been ordered to pay £8.5 million to a severely disabled South Yorkshire girl starved of oxygen at birth.

London’s High Court heard the eight-year-old, who cannot be identified, suffered a ‘catastrophic injury’ during her birth at Barnsley District General Hospital in 2005, after her delivery was delayed, despite her being in difficulty.

She was left with severe cerebral palsy and a number of other difficulties, and needs round-the-clock care.

She sued Barnsley Hospital NHS Trust – through her mother – which admitted liability for her injuries.

The trust has agreed to a multi-million pound settlement, which was approved at the High Court yesterday.

The youngster will get a substantial lump sum and annual payments which will be used to provide the specialist care she will need for the rest of her life.

The annual sums will start at £316,000 rising to £350,000 in four years’ time until 2023.

They will rise again to £412,000 for as long as she lives.

David Pittaway QC, her barrister, said the total value of the settlement was about £8.5 million and the annual payments were among the largest ever awarded in such a case.

Lawyers for the trust have issued a public apology for the negligence which led to the girl’s injuries and praised the care and devotion of her parents.

Approving the settlement and addressing her parents, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said: “If I may say so, the care which you have given has been truly exceptional.

“This award can’t turn back the clock, but it can give your daughter appropriate professional care. I hope it will not only provide the care she needs, but also give each of you some more peace of mind, because you haven’t had that and that is emotionally and psychologically wearing.

“I also hope it gives you more time for yourselves, as well as time together.”