Tyne & Wear

Payout for Sunderland girl with birth brain injury

A hospital has agreed to pay damages to a seven-year-old girl injured during her birth.

Sophie Steele from Sunderland has cerebral palsy, cannot speak or walk and has difficulty breathing.

A blood sample, taken from the crown of her head when she was born prematurely at Sunderland Royal Hospital, caused a brain injury.

City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said her care "was not what it should have been".

A spokeswoman said the trust's legal team was working to determine the level of damages and said some interim payments had already been agreed.

"We acknowledge that no amount of money can compensate adequately for what has happened," she said.

Sophie's father, Andrew Steele, said the family "waited seven years for the hospital to admit they made a mistake".

"The damages will make a massive difference to Sophie's life but we would live in a tent if we could see Sophie running around with her friends and able to call our names when she needs something," he said.

It is expected to take about a year for any financial settlement to be agreed and approved by the High Court.

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