Essex

Negligence claim mum 'will never forgive' Colchester Hospital

Ellie Sutton
Image caption Ellie Sutton was left with brain damage after Colchester Hospital doctors failed to diagnose meningitis

A mother says she will never forgive hospital staff who failed to spot her daughter had meningitis, leading to a £5.5m compensation payout.

A claim made by the family of Ellie Sutton from Colchester, Essex, was one of thousands across the east of England between 2010 and 2015, figures show.

The region's trusts paid out £507m to patients who made negligence claims.

The Department of Health said it was "working closely" with others to reduce litigation and improve safety.

A Freedom of Information request made by BBC Essex shows the total payout for clinical negligence claims and staff getting injured at work topped £532m in the East.

Essex had the largest number of claims made between 2010-11 and 2014-15 in the region - 1,270 - according to the figures from the NHS Litigation Authority.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, where Ellie was treated, paid out the most within the county.

Her mother Sarah Sutton, from Wickham Bishops, Essex, said she would never forgive the hospital for failing to spot her daughter's meningitis.

The trust which runs the hospital admitted liability and paid out £5.5m in compensation after Ellie was left brain damaged.

"There'll always be a big part of me that will stay bitter for the rest of my life, because I have to watch her every day live the life she's not meant to be living," Ms Sutton said.

Image caption Sarah Sutton said something needed to change with regard to medical negligence

"You trust the doctors, you trust these people and they do let you down.

"At what point is this going to change? They need to do something about it."

Image copyright PA

The medical director of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Anglea Tillett, said compensation paid out by the trust amounted to a "huge amount of money".

"We would want to not have to be paying this out. It's not the money - we wouldn't want the errors to be occurring in the first place," she said.

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