Boy wins £9 millon compensation from Bedford Hospital

Bedford Hospital south wing accident and emergency. PNL-140718-081903001
Bedford Hospital south wing accident and emergency. PNL-140718-081903001

A eight-year-old boy left wheelchair-bound and unable to speak after a blunder at Bedford Hospital will receive £9 million in compensation.

He suffered brain damage during the course of his birth at the hospital in Kempston Road, Bedford, in 2006.

Now he is confined to a wheelchair, has very limited movement in his arms and suffers from involuntary movements.

He cannot speak and is totally reliant on high-tech communication aids.

Mr Justice Foskett told London’s High Court how the Bedford Hospitals NHS Trust accepted responsibility for the boy’s injuries at an early stage.

A ‘substantial claim’ was made and the ‘only fly in the ointment’ was the funding of his education at a special school, which has now been resolved.

The judge said the overall compensation package now agreed by the trust was worth about £9 million.

The boy will receive a lump sum and annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of his care for life.

Mr Justice Foskett said the settlement ‘secured payment for his care for the rest of his days’.

He praised the boy’s family saying: ‘What people do in these kinds of situations is quite amazing’.

James Watson QC, for the boy, said he was ‘a young man with both learning difficulties and enormous physical disabilities’.

The QC praised his ‘determination to overcome his physical disabilities’.

Alexander Hutton QC, for the trust, said: “We are extremely sorry that he suffered such severe injuries and disabilities under the trust’s care.

“The case has identified matters clearly which could and should have been done better by the trust.

“Regrettably the claimant and his family have to live with the consequences of what happened for the rest of his life.”

Mr Hutton described the boy’s parents as ‘delightful people’ who have done an ‘amazing job in very difficult circumstances’ bringing up the ‘delightful and admirable boy’.

A Bedford Hospital spokesman said: “We are pleased that a settlement has been agreed and we wish the boy and his family all the best for the future.”