A six-year-old boy who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in hospital has been awarded a record £37 million in compensation from the NHS.
The family’s lawyers sued West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust after the child contracted the Herpes Simplex virus and the condition developed into a severe brain fever after there was a two-day delay in treatment when staff at Watford General hospital failed to detect the virus.
The now child suffers from eyesight and communication problems, cognitive and movement difficulties, as well as behavioural issues and, will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life.
Mrs. Justice Lambert said the late diagnosis delayed the youngster from being treated with the anti-viral drug Acyclovir.
She added: “The effects of the negligence have been tragic both for the boy and his family”.
The trust admitted liability for what happened to the boy at an early stage and agreed to settle his case. He will receive a lump sum payout, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of the 24-hour care he will need for life.
The family’s lawyers said: “We are grateful to the courts for approving a settlement in this long-running, catastrophic child injury case that has devastated the family.
“The settlement will ultimately enable the family to access funds to pay for vital care, education and therapies for life.
“While we recognise that this is the highest award ever made against the NHS, our hope is that such accidents will never be allowed to happen ever again in the future.”
The news comes just a week after an 18-year-old woman was awarded £20 million in compensation following catastrophic brain injuries when she was starved of oxygen as a baby after doctors failed to properly ventilate her.