Monday, 20 July 2020

NHS in £37m Negligence Compensation Payout

The NHS will pay out £37m in compensation to the parents of a brain-damaged child after one of the country's leading hospitals admitted it was at fault in one of the largest maternity negligence claims the health service has ever seen, The Independent can reveal.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust has admitted mistakes in the boy's care that have now left him severely disabled and needing round-the-clock care for the rest of his life. The size of the compensation claim is thought to be one of the largest ever made against the NHS, and underlines mounting concerns over maternity safety in the health service after multiple care scandals.

At Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, where an inquiry has uncovered maternity failings thought to have led to the deaths of dozens of babies and three mothers, police are now investigating to see if the issues amount to criminal charges. This week The Independent revealed the care watchdog's concerns of "escalating harm" across the hospital trust.

Meanwhile, in East Kent, despite an investigation into maternity services, there is still a higher-than-average number of babies dying at its maternity units. An inquiry is under way into dozens of deaths, while more than 130 babies had suffered brain injuries during birth at the trust.

Campaigners say cases like these show the need for an urgent inquiry at parliamentary level into the state of maternity care across the nation.

The boy at the centre of the £37m payout, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was born in 2013 when maternity staff at the NHS trust did not spot he was in the breech position - meaning feet or buttocks first.

This should have been picked up before labour but once midwives recognised what was happening and his heart rate began to drop, his mother was rushed to surgery for an emergency caesarean section.

The delays in being born meant he was starved of oxygen for too long and suffered permanent brain damage, leaving him with complex disabilities and needing two carers during both night and day.

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