Birth injuries boy wins £8.5 million

Posted: 22nd April 2013

Lawyers representing a seven-year-old boy who was born catastrophically disabled due to what was alleged to have been a ‘catalogue of errors’ by midwives, has won an NHS compensation package worth £8.5 million. It was claimed that, had the boy been delivered by emergency Caesarean section 20 minutes earlier, he would have been born unharmed.

Hospital signMidwives at the Princess Royal Hospital, in Haywards Heath, were said to have failed to adequately monitor Alfie Buck's heart rate over a prolonged period during his mother’s labour and to have negligently delayed his delivery. Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust issued a public apology to Alfie and his devoted family and admitted full liability for his injuries.

Although Alfie's intelligence was largely spared, he suffers acute cerebral palsy and spasms and appeared at the High Court in a motorised wheelchair alongside his parents. In a settlement valued overall at £8.5 million, the trust will pay a lump sum of £3,850,000, plus annual, index-linked and tax-free payments to cover the costs of Alfie’s future care for the rest of his life. Those payments will start at £165,000-a-year, rising to £195,000-a-year when Alfie is 12, before rising again to £240,000-a-year when he is 19.

The funds, which are to be managed by the Court of Protection, will be used to provide a new wheelchair-accessible home for the family with space for live-in carers as well as covering the cost of full time professional care and a range of therapies to improve Alfie's quality of life.