Oxford

NHS to pay out 'millions' after brain damage baby settlement

Paul Kirtland and his parents Image copyright The Kirtland family
Image caption Paul Kirtland grew up suffering from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hearing loss and mobility problems

A brain-damaged man is to receive "several million pounds" in damages after the NHS admitted partial blame for his disability.

Paul Kirtland, 32, contracted an infection shortly after his birth at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

His parents said he became ill while at the Special Care Baby Unit and brought a negligence claim in 2013.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust said it had agreed a "compromise" with the family.

Dushka and David Kirtland, from Headington, said they took legal action because they were concerned about how their son would be cared for after their deaths.

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'Peace of mind'

Mrs Kirtland said: "All we ever wanted to know was that Paul would be looked after for as long as he lives.

"The outcome of this claim has given us the peace of mind that we needed."

Paul contracted an infection from klebsiella oxytoca bacteria in the days after his birth in May 1983.

Subsequent tests showed he had suffered brain damage, leaving him with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hearing loss and mobility problems.

A spokesman for the trust said: "Whilst the defendant has not accepted full liability for the claimant's claim, the parties recently agreed a compromise which has now been approved by the court.

"The parties will now co-operate in quantifying the appropriate level of damages to be awarded to Paul."

BL Claims Solicitors, which represented Paul's parents, said it was unusual to settle a claim more than 30 years after the injury was caused.

The amount of the settlement will be decided at a further hearing and is "likely to be several million pounds", it added.

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