Care And Rehabilitation Package Approved For Six-Year-Old Boy With Cerebral Palsy

Medical Negligence Lawyers Secure Admission From NHS Trust


The dedicated family of a young boy with cerebral palsy as a result of errors made by medical staff during his birth, have spoken of their ‘huge relief’ after Irwin Mitchell secured their son a lifetime care and rehabilitation package approved at Leeds High Court today (13th May).


Kit van Berckel, from Harrogate, in North Yorkshire was born on 31st May 2008 after his mother was admitted to Harrogate District Hospital, 10 days over her due date. However during the birth, medical staff failed to recognise that Kit was suffering distress for a prolonged period of time. Staff continually failed to correctly interpret and act upon pathological CTG and as a result, Kit was born with no heartbeat and needed resuscitating. 


Kit suffered a significant brain injury and soon after his birth, he was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, which affects him physically causing involuntary movements. Kit is unable to sit without aid, has no independent mobility and cannot feed himself. Kit is also unable to speak. 


Kit's parents, Joanna and Charles, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care given to both Joanna and Kit during his delivery.  The law firm secured a full admission of liability from Harrogate Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that the delay in Kit's delivery, caused Kit’s neurological injuries.


Today, at the High Court in Leeds, a judge has approved a carefully calculated settlement of £9.872 million to provide lifelong care and rehabilitation for Kit. 

Expert Opinion
“It’s a huge relief for Kit’s family that the NHS Trust responsible for Kit's injuries during his birth, have now agreed to a settlement to cover his extensive care and therapy needs both now and for the rest of his life.

“Kit’s was gravely ill at birth after the traumatic delivery and shortly after, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Over the past few years, Kit has managed his condition extremely well and is able to walk with the support of a walker. His parents have tirelessly devoted their time to ensure his every need is met, that he is well educated and receives the same education any other child his age should."
Rachelle Mahapatra, Partner

Kit attends a mainstream school, Richard Taylor School in Harrogate.  The school work very hard to ensure Kit receives an inclusive education alongside his peers. Kit is able to communicate effectively using eye gaze technology and other hi-tech systems.  Kit has been encouraged by his parents to do all the things his brothers have enjoyed. The family are active and sporty and want Kit to have all the same opportunities that he would have had but for this tragic event.

Joanna and Charles are also in the process of building an adapted house in Harrogate, this will allow Kit to gain further independence. The house is an innovative design created with independence and accessibility in mind. Technology will be used so that Kit can be independent to operate doors, windows and televisions.  The circulation space inside the home is large to enable Kit to operate a powerchair or walker. The garden will be designed in a similar way with accessibility in mind.

Commenting after the approval hearing, Kit’s mother, Joanna said: “Kit is a bright, cheerful and lively boy who continues to amaze us with his energy, positive attitude and determination.  Now, with the help from our legal team at Irwin Mitchell, Kit has received a settlement which will provide vital financial security for the rest of his life.

“We were devastated and heartbroken when we found out that Kit’s condition could have been avoided if mistakes had not been made during his delivery.  There needs to be a fundamental overhaul of accountability and management procedures to minimise the opportunity of negligence caused by medical staff.

“We are deeply grateful to Rachelle Mahapatra and her team at Irwin Mitchell for their committed approach in ensuring Kit's claim was dealt with professionally and with Kit's best interests at the heart of the claim.

“Our life can now move forward, focussing upon ensuring the happiness and fulfilment of Kit's life, and that of his brothers.”