South East Wales

Callum Davies wins £2.2m Nevill Hall birth case payout

An eight-year-old boy has won a High Court multi-million pound settlement for being starved of oxygen at birth, which left him severely brain damaged.

Callum Davies was left with cerebral palsy due to a 15-minute delay at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

The ex-Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust is to pay a £2.275m lump sum plus annual payments for his care.

Health officials apologised and said there were "lessons to learn".

The health board which succeeded Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust admitted a breach of duty and said Callum's case had led to "lots of soul-searching".

The court heard Callum was starved of oxygen due to the delay in his delivery in November 2002, resulting in him being left with dyskinetic cerebral palsy and brain damage.

He will need extensive care for the rest of his life, the court heard.

His barrister, David Westcott QC, said the money will cover the cost of adaptations to the family home and an education programme which would allow Callum to "reach his full potential".

Alexander Hutton, for the NHS, said: "It led to lots of soul-searching at the trust, which has attempted to improve services since then.

"An apology may be scant consolation, but it is sincere."

Judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies approved the compensation package and paid tribute to Callum's family.

Addressing his father, Paul, at the back of court, she said: "It is clear that the care which you and your wife have given is of the highest order.

"I know that Callum's injuries have impacted on you and your whole family as a unit and that is something which at times is very, very difficult for families.

"I am well aware that the settlement approved by the court is not the complete answer, but what I do hope for the family is that these monies will make life easier.

"Not just the increased level of care, improvements to the home and education, but also down to holidays, so you and your family can spend some time together."

Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust was replaced in October 2009 by Anuerin Bevan Health Board.

A spokesperson for the board said: "This is an extremely sad case, and our thoughts today are with Callum and his family.

"We would like to repeat the apology that the health service has previously given in this case - we are very sorry.

"There were lessons to learn from this difficult case. We have worked in collaboration with the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to improve training across the NHS for all those involved in monitoring babies during childbirth.

"Maintaining a high quality for maternity services is a priority for the health board and we will be doing all that we can to reduce the risks to mothers and babies."

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