Norfolk girl, 11, receives £8m in hospital settlement

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An 11-year-old girl who was oxygen-starved at birth has received an £8.1m settlement from an NHS trust, to pay for her care for life.

Amber Atkins has cerebral palsy in all her limbs and is a wheelchair user.

During her birth in May 2002, medics at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital failed to notice signs she was in distress, from which she suffered brain damage.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability at the High Court and apologised.

After the hearing Amber's solicitor, Julian Hayes, said: "My clients are delighted that this is all over.

"This settlement will bring closure to the family and enable Amber to fulfil her expectations as far as possible."

'Quality of life'

Amber sued the hospital through her mother, Lyn.

Her lawyers told the court that had she been brought into the world just 10 minutes earlier, she would have escaped serious injury.

Amber receives specialist help at a mainstream school and can operate a keyboard using her left hand, but will always rely on a wheelchair.

The family's barrister John Stevenson, told the court the overall settlement had been valued at £8,116,000.

This includes a £2.8m lump sum, plus annual, index-linked and tax free payments to cover the costs of her care for as long as she lives.

Mrs Justice Swift said: "I do not underestimate for one minute the hard work and determination of her parents in caring for her.

"Whilst they can in no way compensate Amber for all she has lost, I hope that the damages will provide her and her family with the best possible quality of life in the future."

Sarah Vaughan-Jones QC, for the trust, said: "This is a sad case in which liability was admitted at an early stage and an apology given which I repeat in open court today."

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