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Severely disabled girl awarded £18 million care package after maternity failures
A 12-year-old girl who was left severely physically disabled by maternity failures at the Royal Bolton Hospital has been awarded an £18 million compensation settlement to cover the cost of the lifelong specialist care she requires.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is unable to walk or speak and requires 24-hour care for the rest of her life due to severe brain damage she suffered during birth after midwives failed to call for a doctor when there were signs that she was in distress.
When doctors were finally called there were further delays in delivering the girl as a more experienced doctor failed to carry out the emergency delivery and allowed a junior colleague to do so leading to failed attempts to get the baby out safely. The girl was born in a poor condition and had to be resuscitated. It was later confirmed she had severe brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.
The girl has severe cerebral palsy and although her intellectual abilities were not greatly affected she is so severely physically disabled that she will never be able to work or live independently. Her case was taken on by leading brain injury solicitor Eddie Jones of law firm JMW and his investigation revealed that if she had been born just minutes earlier she would have avoided brain damage and gone on to lead a normal life. Bolton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust later apologised for the delay in delivering the girl.
The High Court in Manchester today approved a compensation settlement of £18 million to be paid to the girl to enable her to have the best possible quality of life despite her severe limitations and extensive care needs.
Mr Jones commented: “The truth is no amount of money can ever make up for what has happened to this girl. All it can do is provide the best possible quality of care and assistance. The case perfectly illustrates the absolutely catastrophic consequences when urgent steps are not taken to deliver a baby immediately when there are severe signs of distress.
“While the majority of births do not result in an emergency situation there is always the potential for that to happen and midwives and doctors must be able to act quickly and appropriately. That is what midwives and doctors are trained to do and it is only by challenging failures when things go wrong that standards can ever be improved. Hopefully the mistakes that were made in this case will never be repeated at this hospital and lessons have been learned.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelly Hindle or Samantha Meakin on the details below:
D. 0161 828 1868
M: 07921 388 584
Note to Editors
JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones.