NHS payout £19million after girl suffered severe brain injuries

Nine-year-old girl left with ‘catastrophic’ brain damage when doctors’ failed to give her a rapid blood transfusion at birth wins record £19million NHS payout

  • Girl, nine, has won a £19m NHS payout after doctors admitted a failure in care
  • Suffered disabilities after doctors failed to administer a total blood transfusion
  • King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust accepted 85% liability for injuries
  • The girl has ‘insight’ into her injuries, which could have been avoided by doctors 

A nine-year-old girl born catastrophically disabled at King’s College Hospital has won an NHS compensation payout worth more than £19 million.

The youngster was born with severe jaundice and her lawyers claimed there was a negligent delay in giving her a total blood transfusion.

NHS lawyers accepted that there had been ‘shortcomings’ in her care – and today agreed to what is believed to be a record settlement of her claim.

A nine-year-old girl born catastrophically disabled at King’s College Hospital has won an NHS compensation payout worth more than £19 million. Approving the payout, Sir Robert Francis (pictured) said: ‘This is very near to the top end of the scale for a brain injury’

Approving the payout, Sir Robert Francis said: ‘This is very near to the top end of the scale for a brain injury’.

Stricken by severe behavioural difficulties, the youngster has ‘insight’ into her condition and has a very long life expectancy, he said.

The girl was delivered with high levels of bilirubin – which causes jaundice – in her blood, the High Court heard.

Her lawyers claimed that, had medics swiftly carried out a total ‘blood exchange’, she would have escaped permanent injury.

The girl’s barrister, Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, said King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had accepted 85 per cent liability for her injuries.

Alexander Hutton QC, for the trust, said: ‘This case did highlight shortcomings in the care that was provided.

‘We are extremely sorry for those shortcomings and I am told that the trust has worked hard to ensure that this will not happen again in the future.’

Praising the girl’s parents for their unstinting care, he added: ‘They have done a wonderful job in very difficult circumstances.’


The girl’s barrister, Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC (left) said King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had accepted 85 per cent liability for her injuries. Alexander Hutton QC (right), for the trust, said: ‘This case did highlight shortcomings in the care that was provided

Sir Robert said the girl would have led ‘a very promising life indeed’ had it not been for the tragic injuries she suffered soon after her birth.

She faced ‘enormous difficulties’ in her life and ‘no amount of money’ could ever compensate her for all she had lost.

Her mother had given ‘a moving account’ of what she and her husband had been through, and the judge added: ‘This was a situation that no parent would ever want to deal with.’

But he told the court: ‘They should feel a sense of pride for what they have done and society should be grateful to them.’

The girl will receive a £6.8 million lump sum, plus annual, index-linked, payments to cover the costs of her care for life.

Those payments will start at £130,000-a-year, before rising to £174,250-a-year in 2020.

When she approaches her twenties, in 2028, the payments will rise again to £228,000-a-year.

Miss Gumbel told the court that, given the girl’s long life expectancy, the capitalised value of the settlement is £19,410,417.

Had the trust accepted 100 per cent liability for her injuries, the award’s total value would have topped £22 million, she added.  

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