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Teenager awarded £8.5million after catastrophic brain injury during birth at Harold Wood hospital

PUBLISHED: 16:57 20 July 2016 | UPDATED: 16:57 20 July 2016

The former maternity unit at Harold Wood Hospital

The former maternity unit at Harold Wood Hospital

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A teenager has been awarded £8.5million in compensation after errors during her birth left her with a catastrophic brain injury.

The 13-year-old was deprived of oxygen during her birth at the now closed Harold Wood Hospital in 2003. She has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-dependant.

Her barrister Fiona Neale told London’s High Court that she has a “high level of need for care and accommodation”.

The case against the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which ran the hospital, concerned the “mismanagement” of her birth.

Today the NHS Trust, which now runs Queen’s Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes, agreed to settle the case on the basis of 90 per cent liability.

Judges had heard that the teenager’s mother had to give up her career to care for her daughter who is “very easily bored”.

The teenager will receive a lump sum of £3,050,000, as well as annual payments to cover the costs of her care .

She has a life expectancy of 60 and will get £120,000 a year until she is 19, £180,500 a year after that.

She will also receive £26,000 a year from the age of 19 to compensate her for lost earnings.

Philip Havers QC apologised on behalf of the NHS Trust and wished the girl and her family “all the very best for the future”.

Approving the financial settlement, Judge Richard Parkes QC praised the girl’s “extraordinary family”.

He said: “This award is going to go some way to making life easier for you and securing her future as the years go on.”

Speaking after the hearing, chief nurse at the NHS trust, Kathryn Halford, said: “I’d like to apologise to this family that the care we provided fell below the standards we would expect.

“It is right that we provide this compensation to ensure the claimant receives the care she needs throughout her life.

“In the 13 years since this incident took place at the now closed Harold Wood Hospital, we’ve done a huge amount of work to transform our maternity services.

“They are now highly rated by our regulators, and most importantly by the women who use them.”

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