NHS Finance

06.02.19

Couple receives £650k pay out over girl’s delayed meningitis diagnosis

An NHS trust is to pay out £650,000 to a couple after failing to diagnose their adopted child with meningitis fast enough, leaving her with brain damage and acute disability up until her death.

London’s High Court heard that in 2008 there were delays in diagnosing the girl, just six years old at the time, with meningitis at the Royal Berkshire Hospital – meaning she was not treated with antibiotics in time.

The girl, who cannot be named, was left with severe disabilities and brain damage, and her adoptive parents sued the hospital’s NHS trust after she died in 2018.

Royal Berkshire NHS FT admitted liability for the injuries she suffered as a baby and has agreed to settle the couple’s case for a lump sum of £650,000 – which covers the care provided for the girl by the couple, and the cost of the girl’s funeral expenses.

Mrs Justice Lambert paid tribute to the couple’s “dedicated care” for the girl and said she had “no hesitation” in approving the settlement.

Bertie Leigh, representing the trust, stated: “This is a desperately sad case. This is something which simply should not have happened and the trust is desperately sorry that it did.”

The lawyer representing the parents, John de Bono QC, stressed that the parents did not know that there may be a valid damages claim against the trust when they adopted her.

He called it “a truly extraordinary case with a tragic end.”

Image credit - Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images

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