Funds Will Ensure Child Can Access Specialist Lifetime Care He Requires
The High Court has approved a multi-million pound settlement which will ensure a boy, left severely disabled by a brain injury shortly after birth, can receive the specialist lifetime care he requires.
The child suffered a brain injury when staff at Hillingdon Hospital in London failed to address concerns from his mum that her newborn son was not feeding properly. The boy developed neonatal hypoglycaemia-induced brain injury caused by a reduction in blood sugar levels.
As a result, he has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, as well as significant learning difficulties, visual impairment, epilepsy, disturbed sleep, autism and associated dependency.
Following the issues, his family instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his care under The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which admitted liability.
The funds will be managed by Irwin Mitchell’s Court of Protection team to ensure they last throughout the boy’s lifetime.
Expert Opinion“This is sadly yet another devastating case which highlights the significant impact that problems in neonatal care can have, with this child now requiring extensive care and support for the rest of his life.
“This settlement has been carefully calculated to ensure that KLM can access all of the assistance he will require in the years ahead. While nothing will change what has happened, we hope it will at least mean his family can have some peace of mind and feel reassured about the future.
“However, a case of this nature is always about more than just money – it is about ensuring that, where possible, lessons can be learned so that no other family faces such issues in the future.” Kate Major - Senior Associate
The boy was sent home two days after his birth at Hillingdon Hospital in 2012. However, later that day his parents contacted the hospital concerned their son was not feeding. They spoke to a midwife who failed to advise the parents to bring him back into hospital for review and a feeding assessment, Irwin Mitchell said.
In the morning of the following day the boy was very lethargic, quiet and still. A community midwife visited who, after examining, advised that he should be taken straight away to the A&E department of the hospital.
He arrived there at hospital just before midday. He was given a diagnosis of symptomatic hypoglycaemia.
Had the boy been assessed at the hospital the evening before he would have been readmitted. He would have had his glucose levels monitored and his temperature maintained well within the normal range.
Adequate feeding and if required glucose infusion would have been in place in time to prevent the development of brain damage, the family’s legal team said.
The Defendant’s advisers made a formal admission in response to a letter of claim.
XYZ, the father of KLM, said: “Our son has faced an incredibly difficult start to life but we are so proud of everything that he has been able to achieve so far. He is a truly wonderful son and we feel privileged to have him in our lives.
“Nothing can make up for what has happened and we are determined to give him the best possible life. We are pleased that today’s decision means he can receive the care and therapy needed.
“However, it is crucial that improvements in care happen at this trust and nationally. Too many maternity services have been slow to implement change to governance, risk management, staff training and family engagement. Other families will go through what we have if real change is not made to the safety culture in the NHS.”