£8.5m Lifetime Care Settlement For Boy Who Suffered Cerebral Palsy After NHS Mistakes

Settlement Will Provide Adapted Home, Therapy, 24-hour Care and Rehabilitation Support


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

An eight-year-old boy who suffered brain damage days after his birth leaving him with cerebral palsy has secured a settlement from the NHS Trust responsible for failures in his care as he faces a lifetime of 24 hour care, therapy and rehabilitation.

The boy was born in good health on 1st December 2007 at the Princess Royal Hospital, Farnborough, but he went on to develop neonatal jaundice. Just five days after his birth he was taken to A&E at Lewisham Hospital requiring urgent treatment for his jaundice but there was a delay of many hours for phototherapy and exchange transfusion and incompetent use of equipment and he was left with brain damage.

Expert medical evidence showed that if the delay and incompetence in providing the required treatment had not occurred, the child would have made a full recovery from his illness and would not have been left disabled.

His parents instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how their boy became brain damaged and whether anything could have been done to prevent it.

Their expert legal team has now negotiated a £8.5m out-of-court settlement from Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust which will consist of a lump sum and regular annual payments which will cover his 24-hour care, physiotherapy, equipment such as wheelchairs, transport, speech and language therapy and will pay for a suitably adapted house to meet the needs of his disability. His education needs will be assessed at a later date.

Although the NHS Trust admitted liability for the boy’s injuries, there was a dispute over the level of damages which he should receive. The case proceeded to the day before the 10 day Trial listed for 12th January 2016 was due to start, but at the last moment the NHS Trust accepted an offer to settle out-of-court.

The child now has severe cerebral palsy which affects all four limbs and his hearing is also impaired. He also has learning difficulties and has had trouble with sleeping and eating. But he is able to communicate with his eyes, gestures and vocalising.

His mother, who wished not to be named, said: “The standard of care we received was nothing short of abysmal and well below the standard we would expect from a hospital of that size and calibre. We feel tremendously let down.

“We are now relieved that the settlement has been agreed as it gives us the peace of mind that his lifetime care needs will now be secure. Nothing can turn back the clock for us but we will now be able to look forward and help him live an enriching life. Despite his disability he enjoys stories and watching television and always makes people smile.

"I live in hope that the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust will learn that human life is precious and treat their patients with compassion although we know we are not alone in having to live with the catastrophic mistakes made by this Trust*. He has endured much over the past 8 years and he will continue to face many challenges. However he is a happy and beautiful child and my family and I will do our very best to ensure that his needs are met.”

Expert Opinion
“The past eight years have been incredibly difficult for the family. His parents were completely unaware that he was the victim of negligence at Lewisham Hospital and it was not until a report was released that they realised the serious errors that had been made there.

“They were simply devastated when they found out that his condition could easily have been avoided if he had received appropriate and standard care.

“The mistakes in his care at the hospital were so serious that a Doctor providing expert medical evidence on the case apologised to the family on behalf of his profession for what had happened to him.

“Now the settlement will allow him to receive the care, therapies and rehabilitation treatment he will need for the rest of his life. He will be able to use assistive technology and reach his full potential in a safe and caring environment, which is a huge comfort to his parents.”
Jane Weakley, Associate

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of cerebral palsy, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.