Frimley Park NHS Trust Agrees Out-of-Court Settlement to Cover Care For Brain Injured Boy
The High Court has today (30 April) approved a multi-million pound settlement to help pay for the care of boy who suffered a severe brain injury after delays in diagnosing and treating his TB meningitis when he was just under a year old.
The boy, who is anonymous for legal reasons, is now six-years-old, has to use a wheelchair and has no communication skills. He was unwell during March 2013 and his parents took him to A&E at Wexham Park Hospital, and to a private GP, but his illness was not considered to be serious and he was not admitted for further investigations. He was eventually admitted to Wexham Park Hospital after suffering seizures but it was not until several days later that a diagnosis of Tuberculosis meningitis was made. By the time treatment commenced, he had suffered a severe brain injury.
The family instructed specialist medical negligence solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care. After Court proceedings were commenced, a fair settlement was agreed out of court.
The boy will now receive a lump sum of £2.5m to pay for suitable accommodation and equipment to enhance his quality of life, while annual payments of £100,000 for the duration of his life will help meet the costs of specialist care and support he will need given the severity of his brain injury.
Speaking after the settlement was approved at the Royal Courts of Justice, Ania Bean, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family said:
Expert OpinionThe boy’s parents have provided dedicated care for him in very difficult circumstances and with very limited resources over the course of his life so far. This settlement now means that they have peace of mind that his specialist care, accommodation and equipment needs will be met.
“The case highlights the severe dangers of delay in diagnosing illnesses such as meningitis which can cause serious complications such as brain damage, if not treated quickly enough.
“Hopefully now lessons will be learned to ensure that other families do not find themselves in a similar situation in the future.” Ania Bean - Senior Associate
The boy’s parents reported that he became unwell shortly before his 1st birthday. They attended a Walk-In Centre on 18 March 2013, a GP surgery on 22 March 2013, Wexham Park Hospital on 24 March 2013 and a private GP on 26 March 2013 with complaints of fever and vomiting.
He was admitted to Wexham Park Hospital by ambulance suffering from a seizure before being transferred to the intensive care unit where his seizures continued. Several days later, the diagnosis of TB meningitis was made and anti-tuberculous chemotherapy was started at another hospital.
It was alleged that in light of the boy’s symptoms, further investigations were warranted and these would have led to a prompter diagnosis of the condition and earlier treatment.
By the time treatment was commenced, the boy had sadly suffered a brain injury and following a long period as an inpatient he was eventually discharged home a few months later.
The boy now uses a wheelchair and suffers from hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid on the brain), severe motor impairment, bulbar dysfunction, visual impairment, developmental delays and seizures. He has no communication skills and is severely cognitively impaired.