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Midwife error leads to £4.6 million payout for brain damaged boy

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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A six year old boy who suffered serious brain damage after midwives monitored his mother’s heart rate instead of his own has been awarded a compensation package totalling £4.6 million.
This week, the High Court approved the damages payout for Shane Barrett of Saxlingham Thorpe, Norfolk who suffers from cerebral palsy and requires around the clock care.
The judge heard that complications occurred when midwives failed to identify Shane’s seriously abnormal heart rate during his mother’s labour at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn in June 2004. Instead, midwives monitored his mother’s normal heart rate which they mistook for that of the baby. This error led to vital delays in Shane’s delivery and his lawyers claimed that if his birth had been brought forward by just 10 minutes, he would have escaped permanent injury.
Shane is now wheelchair dependent and has severe learning difficulties. The payout will be used to fund an ongoing care package for the rest of his life.
In a statement, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust said it had settled on a "without liability" basis to avoid a lengthy and expensive court case.
Shane's mother said the outcome was "a huge relief for us all".
If you believe that you have received midwifery care below a reasonable standard then we have a dedicated team of clinical negligence solicitors who would be happy to advise you further. Call us for free initial advice on 01616 966 229.