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Hospital pays out compensation for midwife failures that caused child’s brain damage
16 November 2015
The High Court in London has today given its seal of approval for a multi-million pound support package for a youngster who suffered brain damage due to the negligence of staff at Bassetlaw District General Hospital.
Bradley Albans, now ten, is physically disabled, has learning difficulties and epilepsy, and will be dependent on others for the rest of his life.
The youngster from Retford, Nottinghamshire, suffered devastating hypoglycaemic brain damage two days after his birth in May 2005, while he was under the care of midwives at Bassetlaw District General Hospital. The midwives failed to take any action when there were clear signs that he was dangerously unwell.
As a result he developed hypoglycaemic brain damage, which is caused by low blood sugars but can be prevented if simple steps are taken when the first symptoms develop. Bradley has significant care needs and will never be able to live independently or hold down a job.
After his parents Rachel and Wayne challenged the poor care Bradley received as a newborn with the help of medical law experts at JMW Solicitors, the hospital trust admitted negligence and will now pay over £6 million in compensation over his lifetime to enable his family to provide him with 24 hour care now and in the future.
Eddie Jones, a specialist brain injury lawyer at JMW Solicitors, represented Bradley in his fight for justice. He commented: “Bradley’s parents have had to come to terms with Bradley’s significant injuries and the fact that they were completely avoidable if basic failures in care had not been made.
“Despite this they have shown great courage throughout this case and I am delighted that we have reached such an important outcome.
“Bradley was seen by midwives both at home and in hospital following his birth and despite him being jittery, excessively sleepy and not feeding, they failed to take any action or give Rachel any advice. Rachel raised concerns about these symptoms on several occasions but was reassured that they were nothing to worry about. In reality they were clear warning signs of low blood sugars that required prompt investigation and treatment.
“There appeared to be a lack of awareness of the signs of hypoglycaemia and the risk this can pose to the child. That is a totally unacceptable failure in basic care by the trust and it is important that this is recognised so that lessons can be learned to minimise the risk of a tragic reoccurrence.”
Bradley’s mother Rachel, 33, commented: “Finding out Bradley’s brain damage was due to poor care was extremely distressing and we have faced some difficult times. There have been some tough times for our family over the years and as parents we just want the best for Bradley and to ensure he is properly taken care of. It is reassuring to know that we no longer have to fight for that and we can finally begin to move on with our lives and focus on ensuring Bradley can benefit from the support that is now available to him.
“Our main priority has, and always will be, to ensure we can meet Bradley’s needs and that he has access to help and support he needs However we are very keen that lessons are learned to ensure that other babies in the same situation get the care that they urgently need. We feel relieved that the case has finished and we sincerely hope that training will be introduced where needed to ensure midwives are alert to the warning signs that a baby is in danger.”
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