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£37m award for child's brain injury.

A six-year-old boy who suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury after his birth in hospital has received £37m compensation from the NHS.
The child contracted the herpes simplex virus, which led to a brain fever, at Watford General Hospital.

His barrister, Henry Witcomb QC, told London's High Court the virus "was not detected and acted upon" soon enough.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust had previously apologised and agreed to settle his case.

The boy's solicitor said the payout was the "highest award ever" in a clinical negligence case against the NHS.

The court heard there was a two-day delay in giving the boy an antiviral drug and this resulted in "catastrophic damage to his brain" which caused eyesight and communication problems, cognitive and movement difficulties as well as behavioural issues.

Mrs Justice Lambert, who told the court the health trust admitted liability for what happened to the boy at an early stage, said: "The effects of the negligence have been tragic both for the boy and his family."

The boy 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.

Mr Witcomb said the value of the settlement, calculated over the boy's lifetime, totalled more than £37m.

The chief executive of the trust apologised to the boy's family in a letter sent in May 2017.

The trust's barrister, John Whitting QC, said: "The care which he received was not of an appropriate standard and for that we are acutely sorry."

He added lessons had been learned by the trust and that steps had been taken to ensure "nothing similar will ever happen again.”

After the hearing, the boy's solicitor, Paul McNeil, said: "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."

 

 

 

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