A CHILD has won a £7m compensation payout from the trust that runs St Richard’s Hospital, in Chichester, after staff errors left her blind and severely disabled from birth.
The eight-year-old girl, from Sussex, cannot be identified for legal reasons.
The London High Court heard yesterday (January 29) that she was delivered in December, 2006, but medics and midwives failed to spot warning signs that she was being deprived of oxygen while her mother was in the late stages of labour.
As a result, she was born suffering from severe cerebral palsy and faces a lifetime of acute mental and physical disability, the court heard.
Martin Spencer QC, speaking on behalf of her family, told Mr Justice Warby that she would never be able to care for herself and had a shortened lifespan.
The family sued Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which admitted liability for what happened. The trust is also responsible for Worthing Hospital and Southlands Hospital.
The judge approved a settlement of the case which was valued at about £7m.
The deal includes a substantial lump sum as well as annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to pay the huge costs of care for life.
The girl’s parents will receive £100,000 as compensation for the years of care they have given her.
Mr Spencer said the family had been unable to attend the hearing due to traffic congestion.
Mr Justice Warby expressed his regret that he would be unable to speak to them personally and offer words of support and encouragement.
Approving the settlement, the judge said the payout to the parents for past care was ‘appropriate and justified’ for all they had done.
Richard Mumford, for the trust, made no comment in open court.
Mr Spencer confirmed outside court after the hearing the trust had already apologised to the family in writing for what happened.
The Observer and Herald contacted Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.
The trust said it did not want to add anything to what had already been said in court and to the family in private.