Ipswich: Hospital in �7million payout to baby left brain damaged

IPSWICH: Hospital bosses in Ipswich have agreed to pay nearly �7m compensation to an east Suffolk boy who was left with catastrophic brain injuries by the negligent management of his birth.

The seven-year-old boy, whose identity is protected by a court order, suffers from Cerebral Palsy and Dystonia after his brain was starved of oxygen during delays to his delivery at Ipswich Hospital in 2004.

Yesterday, a High Court judge approved a �6.94m compensation payout from Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust to compensate him for his injuries and cover the immense cost of the 24-hour-care he will need for the rest of his life.

Harry Trusted, for the boy, told the court he suffered a hypoxic injury during his birth, which would not have occurred had staff at the hospital delivered him sooner.

The complications mean the boy is now tetraplegic and cannot sit, stand or grab things with his hands.

He also suffers speech impairment and has learning difficulties, but goes to his local primary school, which caters for his needs.

Mr Trusted said: “He is a very bright, active child, but I cannot paint it in an entirely positive light, he has lots of needs and is unable to sleep.

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“He lives at home and needs carers to help support his parents. The toll on mum and dad is a very heavy one and they had no choice but to move house because of his disabilities.”

The NHS trust has agreed to pay a �3.25m lump sum to the boy, as well as �124,000-a-year in index linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of his care.

Those payments will rise in steps to �175,000-a-year in 2023, as his care needs increase.

The money will compensate the boy for his future loss of earnings, as well as paying for specially-adapted accommodation, specialist equipment, speech and language therapy and round-the-clock care.

Martin Porter QC, for the NHS trust, said: “An apology was made in writing at the time liability was admitted in 2007. I repeat that apology on behalf on the NHS trust, which is very sorry that [the child] did not receive the standard of care he was entitled to.”

Mr Justice Butterfield approved the settlement and paid tribute to the boy’s parents, who sat at the back of court throughout the hearing.

He said: “From everything I have seen and read, the parents have cared for this child with love and devotion over many years. I have no doubt they will continue to do so.

“The money which they have and will receive is a tiny irrelevance for the difficulties they have gone through, at least the financial recompense is security for the future. I wish them well.”

Trust spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: “The Trust had previously admitted liability for the claimant’s injuries and apologised to the family.

“The amount of compensation that the claimant will receive has now been approved by the Court. The Trust is pleased that the case has settled without recourse to a trial and hopes that the award of compensation will be of benefit to the claimant.”

n What is your experience of Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk