Girl, 11, left brain-damaged after birth awarded £14m payout

Royal London Hospital. Picture: Mike Brooke

Royal London Hospital. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Archant

An 11-year-old girl who was left disabled after suffering a serious brain injury when she was born has been awarded more than £14 million in damages.

The girl, referred to only as MXX for legal reasons, suffered the injuries as a result of failings in care during her birth at the Royal London Hospital in May 2007.

The girl’s mother had previously given birth by caesarian but was due to give birth to MXX naturally - something which had an enhanced risk of a uterine rupture and meant the labour should have been monitored extremely carefully. However, this did not happen and she did suffer a rupture to her uterus.

Following MXX’s birth, the chief executive of Barts and The London NHS Trust, which ran the hospital at the time, wrote to her mother to offer his apologies.

The letter acknowledged that the obstetric care the hospital had provided during her labour was not to a standard that the family was entitled to expect.

In 2012, the trust also admitted that the time of MXX’s should have been 20 minutes earlier than it actually was.

Her brain damage, which left her with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, was caused by a lack of oxygen in the last minutes of labour. The trust acknowledged that all of the injuries would have been avoided if MXX had been born earlier.

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The brain damage means that MXX suffers with coordination issues and has significant learning difficulties, meaning she will require specialist care throughout her lifetime and be unable to earn her own living.

A settlement of £14.4m was approved at the Royal Courts of Justice, consisting of a lump sum of £4.4m plus annual payments to cover the cost of care, therapy and accommodation during MXX’s lifetime.

Madeline Seibert from Attwaters Jameson Hill solicitors, who are representing the family, said: “MXX is a delightful girl and it has been a real privilege to help her and her family achieve justice, and much needed funds, to ensure she is financially secure and can access the care and support she will need throughout her lifetime.”

A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust, which now runs the hospital, said: “This is a sad case dating back to 2007 and before the formation of the trust, for which the previous hospital management offered its sincere apologies to the family concerned.

“Since then a number of changes have improved the care of women and babies, and we continue to listen to parents to help us to provide them with a positive experience.”