Record compensation payout after mistakes at University Hospital

1 October 2018, 18:55 | Updated: 1 October 2018, 19:04

University Hospital in Cardiff

An 18-year-old girl has been awarded almost £20m after being starved of oxygen as a baby.

The teenager suffered catastrophic brain injuries when doctors failed to properly ventilate her at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, in 2000.

She has now been awarded £2.1m as a lump sum, with annual payments of £203,000 for the rest of her life. 

Taking into account her life expectancy, the total settlement will be around £19,774,265.

The figure would be the highest compensation payout by the NHS, with the previous record settlement being a £19,410,417 payout in May earlier this year.

The mother of the girl, who has cared for her since the treatment, said: "I had my daughter snatched away from me. From that moment she changed forever.

"She is mobile but doesn't really know what is going on. I went from having a healthy baby to a seriously disabled child through no fault of our own.

"That said, I wouldn't change her for the world and don't love her any differently."

Justice Robert Harrison announced the settlement against Cardiff and Vale University Health Board at the High Court in the Welsh capital.

Yvonne Agnew, head of clinical negligence at Slater and Gordon in Cardiff, which represented the girl, said: "This is a tragic case of a little girl, with her whole life ahead of her, having her future snatched away from her through no fault of her own.

"We have had to fight for years to get justice for our client and to get the trust to admit their failings.

"I am pleased that the girl will be able to get the care she needs and hope that lessons are learned from this case to ensure this never happens again."

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has been approached for comment.

Image (C) Mick Lobb, licensed under Creative Commons