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Pregnant women warned of dangers of birth centres following £6.4 million NHS payout

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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An eight year old boy has received a £6.4 million payout after he was left severely brain damaged due to mistakes made during his delivery at a midwife-led birth centre.
 
Theo Kramer was delivered at the Edgware Birth Centre in 2002 and required resuscitation at birth after a student midwife failed to monitor his heart rate properly. He was later transferred to Barnet General Hospital where he spent 3 weeks in intensive care.
 
When Theo was five months old, his parents were told he had cerebral palsy and quadriplegia. He also has drug-resistant epilepsy which means he can have up to 40 seizures per day and requires 24-hour care.
 
After a seven-year legal battle, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust admitted the NHS-run Edgware Birth Centre was negligent and responsible for Theo’s injuries.
 
At a hearing at the High Court this week, Theo was awarded a lump sum of £2.75 million plus £235,000 per year until he is 19 and £275,000 a year after that.
 
Theo’s parents claim stand-alone birth centres are not safe and have urged the government to provide ‘full and frank’ information about the dangers of choosing them over hospital maternity wards headed by consultants.
 
Mr Kramer stated: "We want to warn mothers-to-be that these birth centres are fundamentally and inherently unsafe. Our concern is that the government is really pushing the idea of midwife-led birth centres. It's absolutely appalling that they are cost-cutting on maternity care and putting mothers who are perfectly healthy at a much higher risk. The government should be publishing the statistics on how unsafe they are."
 
By clinical negligence specialist, Katie Nolan
 

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