South East Wales

£3.5m payout for baby born 'lifeless' in Caerphilly hospital

High Court Image copyright PA
Image caption The payout was awarded during a hearing at London's High Court

The parents of girl born "apparently lifeless" at a south Wales birthing centre are to receive £3.5m from a health board to pay for her care.

Medics at Caerphilly Miners' Hospital fought to resuscitate the baby girl, but she suffered catastrophic oxygen starvation and brain damage.

The girl, now 10, has "complex" care needs, London's High Court was told.

An Aneurin Bevan health board statement said it hoped the money would "help the little girl and her family".

The court heard the health board accepted the mother should have been transferred to Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital to give birth.

The girl was delivered with her umbilical cord wrapped tightly round her neck.

Her barrister, David Westcott QC, said her mother's waters had broken days before she arrived at the birthing centre.

Had the girl been properly monitored in her mother's womb, the incident could have been averted, he claimed.

The health board denied responsibility for the girl's injuries, saying they occurred long before her mother even arrived at the birthing centre.

'Selfless devotion'

But, following negotiations outside court, the board agreed to a financial settlement.

She will receive a lump sum of £1.4m, plus tax-free annual payments to cover the costs of her care for life.

Those payments will start at about £140,000, before rising to more than £175,000 as her care needs increase.

The settlement - agreed on a two-thirds liability basis - has a total value of nearly £3.5m.

Approving the payout, Mr Justice Foskett said medics put "considerable effort" into saving the baby girl's life.

Experts made "rather gloomy predictions" that she might not live beyond the age of 27, the court heard.

Of the girl's parents, Mr Justice Foskett told the court: "This kind of selfless devotion deserves the highest praise."

A health board spokeswoman said: "We are pleased that we have been able to reach a settlement in this case and we hope that this will help the little girl and her family."

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