Boy, six, left with brain damage due to NHS failures

St Mary's Community Health Campus - formerly St Mary's Hospital''Picture: Paul Jacobs (120303-5)
St Mary's Community Health Campus - formerly St Mary's Hospital''Picture: Paul Jacobs (120303-5)
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A HOSPITAL trust has agreed to pay millions of pounds to help a young brain-damaged boy after staff failed to diagnose him with meningitis.

The six-year-old, who cannot be identified, is from the Portsmouth area.

In March 2008, when he was two, he was taken to the former St Mary’s Hospital, in Milton Road, Milton, Portsmouth, because he became ill.

Staff failed to spot the signs of meningitis in time, which meant the toddler suffered catastrophic brain damage.

As a result, he has been left severely disabled, which includes having mobility problems, and he is blind and deaf.

Yesterday at a High Court hearing, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) – which ran the service – admitted liability.

A lump sum of £1.5m, plus annual payments – index-linked and tax-free – was agreed.

The family were represented by London law firm Leigh Day.

Russell Levy is head of the specialist clinical negligence department.

He said: ‘The boy will need care and assistance for the rest of his life.

‘The family have had to move into a specially-adapted house, where the boy will need round-the-clock care, therapies and home education.’

Under the settlement, the family will receive £225,000 a year until he turns 11.

From ages 11 to 18, the family will get annual payments of £253,000, which increases to £305,000, between the ages of 18 to 21.

From ages 21 to 24, an annual payout of £327,000 will be made, then from 24 years old onwards, £331,000 each year.

Mr Levy added: ‘We are very happy we were able to work with PHT solicitors to achieve this settlement, which means the boy’s care needs will be looked after for the rest of his life.

‘The figures are very large, but unfortunately all the money is required to care for him because he suffered such catastrophic injuries.’

A spokesman for PHT said: ‘The trust confirms that terms of settlement were approved by the High Court in London.

‘The boy suffered profound injury as a result of inadequate care provided at the trust in March 2008.

‘A full admission of liability was made by the trust shortly after a claim was brought, and a substantial compensation package has been agreed which will help him to maximise his potential.

‘The trust is saddened that the patient received these injuries, and hopes that the compensation package will go a considerable way to making his life as comfortable as possible.’