Hospital blunder sees £7m payout

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A FAMILY received £7m in compensation after hospital errors left a daughter severely disabled from birth.

The eight-year-old was born at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester in 2006. She cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Her family won the payout from the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which admitted liability at a hearing at London’s High Court.

The court heard medics and midwives failed to spot warning signs the baby was being deprived of oxygen while her mother was in the late stages of labour.

The family said: ‘Looking after a child with complex disabilities is an incredibly tough 24/7 job that affects the whole family, including siblings, and so our daughter’s annual periodical payments will help pay for the carers she will require for the rest of her life.

‘Our daughter’s early years were incredibly hard due to her constant crying and sleepless nights.

‘Now she is maturing into a delightful little girl who shows great tenacity and she is doing extremely well at her special school for children with cerebral palsy, which she loves.’

The girl has severe learning difficulties, speech impairment, epileptic seizures and severe visual impairment.

The family added: ‘Although it has been a seven-year rollercoaster battle to succeed with our daughter’s negligence claim, our priority has always been to secure her future care for when we are no longer able or here to look after her and to ensure that her life is as fulfilling as possible.’

After the case Western Sussex Hospitals head of midwifery Carole Garrick said in a statement: ‘We deeply regret the errors made in 2006 and met with the family a number of times to ensure support and counselling were provided, and to apologise unreservedly.

‘The Trust admitted liability as soon as we were aware of the mistake, and following a thorough investigation took immediate actions, which included the introduction of additional training and a review of how all staff monitor babies during delivery.

‘This was a tragic but rare and isolated incident at St. Richard’s Hospital, where maternity services are rated by the NHS to be among the very best in the country for patient safety.’