Cumbria

Brain damaged Carlisle girl awarded £5.6m compensation

Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle
Image caption North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted medical negligence

An 11-year-old girl left with severe brain injuries after mistakes by hospital staff at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle has been awarded £5.6m compensation from the NHS.

The girl, whose identity is protected by a court order, suffered brain damage after delays at her birth.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted medical negligence.

It has agreed to pay a £2.3m lump sum and index-linked payments of up to £200,000 a year for life.

Speaking outside court, the girl's mother said: "The last 11 years have been very hard. We hope that we can now get the care and equipment that she needs to give her a better life."

The High Court heard staff at the hospital missed indicators that the girl's mother, who is from the Carlisle area, had a placental abruption before and during her delivery.

It heard the girl's brain was starved of oxygen because of unnecessary delays and she was not breathing when she was born.

In what he called a "very, very severe case" Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said the girl suffered extensive brain damage and now has very limited mobility, severe mental problems and needs round the clock care from her parents.

Her life expectancy is also reduced.

The compensation will help pay for a specially-adapted house as well as specialist equipment and support from a team of carers.

The settlement came a week after the NHS Litigation Authority, which handles compensation claims for the NHS, was given an extra £185m by the government to cover the growing cost of clinical negligence settlements.

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