Essex

Girl starved of oxygen at birth gets £22m compensation from hospital

Baby GV
Image caption The girl was starved of oxygen during her caesarean birth

A girl starved of oxygen during birth who needs 24-hour care has been awarded compensation totalling £22m.

Now aged 11, the child is prone to uncontrollable tantrums and her only comfort is the sound of her mother singing, London's High Court was told.

Her lawyers claimed her caesarean delivery at St John's Hospital, in Chelmsford, was negligently delayed.

Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust agreed to settle her claim on the basis of 85% liability.

The court heard the "profoundly disabled" girl suffers from severe cerebral palsy and was partially paralysed in all four limbs.

'Respect and admiration'

Her barrister said when the child's mother sang to calm her down, she was rewarded by obvious signs of pleasure.

"She is at least able to brush her fingers against her mother's lips to get her to sing," he told Judge Simeon Maskrey QC.

Although her communication skills were still improving, her intellect was badly affected and she would always need 24-hour care, the court heard.

As well as a lump sum of £5,798,000, the girl will receive index-linked annual payments to cover the costs of her care for life.

They will start at £155,000 a year, before rising to £227,000 a year when she is 18.

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Explaining the size of the payout, the judge detailed the girl's day and night care needs and said the effects on her family could not be overstated.

"Her mother has done as much as could ever be done to ensure she has a quality of life."

The mother wept as the judge told her: "You go from this court with my respect and admiration."

James Watson QC, for the hospital trust, agreed to the settlement and said: "We wish to pay tribute to the extreme dedication of her family."

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