Northampton

Northampton hospital pays brain-damaged girl £1m

A Northamptonshire girl who suffered severe brain damage during her birth has been awarded more than £1m in compensation.

The six-year-old, who cannot be named, was starved of oxygen during her birth at Northampton General Hospital in March 2006 and is severely disabled.

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust admitted responsibility for her disabilities.

It agreed a compensation settlement at the High Court on Monday.

Lawyers acting for the girl, who sued the trust through her mother, told the court she was "effectively stillborn" and her brain irrecoverably damaged when her mother's Caesarean was delayed by more than four hours.

As a result of the serious brain injury she suffered, the girl has epilepsy, autism and kidney problems and will need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life, the court heard.

James Badenoch QC, on behalf of the girl, said: "She should have been delivered by Caesarean section at around 4pm, but delivery didn't happen until around 8.15pm - more than four hours later."

'Unreserved apology'

The trust admitted full liability for the girl's injuries and gave the family an "unreserved apology".

Paul Rees QC, on behalf of the trust, said: "Nothing I can say can right the wrong that was done, but the child, her mother and all the family are entitled to hear - in open court - an unreserved apology and, through me, that is given.

"I would also like to pay a public tribute to the child's mother and all those who have looked after her. The past six years have demanded much and they have risen to those challenges."

The girl will receive tax-free payments of £155,000 a year until she is 21 when the payments will rise to £282,000.

A trust spokesman said lessons had been learnt and hoped the money would give the girl security and certainty during her lifetime.

"The trust accepted liability concerning the management of her delivery at Northampton General Hospital in 2006 and has apologised to her and her family for the errors made," he said.

"The trust is pleased the claim has been resolved and offers her and her family its very best wishes for the future."

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