NHS trust agrees payout after girl is brain damaged

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A HOSPITAL trust has agreed a multi-million pound compensation deal to the family of a girl who was injured during birth.

The High Court heard Bethany Neale, who celebrated her 10th birthday yesterday, suffered acute brain injury during delivery at the former St Mary’s Hospital, in Milton, Portsmouth.

It left her with long-term disabilities.

Her mother Lisa, of Salisbury Road, Cosham, sued the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust on her daughter’s behalf.

Her QC Susan Rodway said that the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust now accepted a ‘breach of duty leading to brain injury at her birth’.

She told Mr Justice Tugendhat a substantial compensation package has been agreed through which Bethany will receive a large lump sum, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of her care for as long as she lives.

Part of the settlement – the precise terms of which were kept confidential – will go towards buying a new home which will be specially adapted for Bethany’s needs.

Neil Block QC, acting on behalf of the NHS trust, publicly apologised ‘for the mistakes made’.

He paid tribute to Bethany’s parents for their ‘absolutely magnificent’ care of their daughter.

Mr Justice Tugendhat has now approved the settlement that will ensure Bethany receives the best possible care for the rest of her life.

He said: ‘Any parent can understand the enormous impact which this tragedy has had on Bethany’s family.

‘I should like to express the court’s sympathy to her parents.’

Although lawyers declined to reveal the financial terms of the settlement, multi-million pound payouts are now routine in such cases where long term care needs have to be met.

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘The trust confirms that the High Court in London has approved terms of settlement in relation to a maternity case brought against the trust.

‘Liability was admitted some time ago and a formal written apology was provided to the patient and their family.

‘The trust hopes that the compensation approved by the court today will assist the patient in achieving her full potential.’