Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust has agreed that it will pay compensation to a boy who experienced irreversible brain damage after his birth due to alleged mistakes by midwives at the Queen’s Hospital in Romford.
The boy, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was born in 2006 and was initially healthy, weighing 7lb at birth.
However, due to the newly opened maternity unit at the Queen’s Hospital being “busy and understaffed”, according to court documents, his parents were left on their own with him for 11 hours, during which times his low blood-sugar level was not spotted.
His parents, unaware of the dangers or the required frequency of feeding, were not advised by midwives about the problems with hypoglycaemia in newborns due to insufficient feeding, which can cause neurodevelopmental problems if not properly addressed.
The High Court heard that routine checks were not conducted, despite his parents raising concerns. On his second night in the hospital, the parents asked for help as the infant would not sleep but had become lethargic before later sleeping and then becoming difficult to wake.
Once he was finally seen by a midwife, she called a doctor who diagnosed severe hypoglycaemia, which is alleged by the family to have led to cerebral palsy.
The boy, now 12, has motor problems, visual impairment, cannot communicate and is fed through a tube.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, which operates the hospital in Romford, agreed to pay 75 per cent of the legal claim in 2017 but has refused to admit liability.
The latest case at the High Court approved this settlement, which will see a lump sum of £3 million paid for his care, as well as annual payments of £200,000 or more.
Dr Magda Smith, the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS trust’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “We have reflected carefully on some of the shortcomings identified. We are sorry for these and for any injuries which may have occurred as a result.”