£20m payout after North Devon hospital birth error

The maternity unit at North Devon District Hospital
The maternity unit at North Devon District Hospital

A nine-year-old girl left severely disabled with cerebral palsy after mistakes at North Devon District Hospital has been awarded £20million in damages at the High Court.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has apologised unreservedly after admitting failings at her birth.

Yesterday (Monday) the court in London heard her brain was starved of oxygen during her delivery and it means the girl, who cannot be named, is disabled in all four limbs.

The settlement includes a multi-million pound lump sum, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of her care for life.

At the hearing Christopher Gibson QC, paid tribute to her parents ‘who have devoted themselves to making (her) the happy and delightful child described’’.

The nine-year-old was referred to in court as RXH. Endurance Arthur, a partner at Tozers LLP Exeter said: “Anyone who meets RXH cannot help but be charmed by her - she is bright and lively and funny.

“RXH has much potential to succeed in life despite the extent of the problems she must live with. I cannot wait to see the major difference that the sum awarded to her today will make to her life.”

Darryn Allcorn, director of nursing, quality and workforce at the trust, said: “We know the family want to remain anonymous and we are determined to respect their wishes.

“This is a historic case and we have since apologised to the family unreservedly for our failings.

“We are glad that an agreement has now been reached and we hope this will enable the family to access the support and care they need.

“We would like to once again sincerely apologise and we wish the family all the very best for the future.”

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