Ashtons Legal help Ipswich family obtain compensation from NHS for son’s cerebral palsy

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Helen and Paul Rea from Ipswich have today received court approval for a financial settlement which will ensure that their son Joseph, who has cerebral palsy, can be given the appropriate care and support that he will need for the rest of his life.  The package will amount to over £2.4 million.

Joseph was born at Ipswich Hospital in 2006 but, due to the mismanagement of his birth, Joseph had to spend the first three days of his life on a ventilator and now suffers from cerebral palsy, seizures and delayed development.  The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust admitted liability in 2009, agreeing that Joseph could and should have been delivered considerably earlier, at which point it is likely he would have been healthy and able to live a normal life.

The Rea’s solicitor is Ashtons Legal clinical negligence specialist Tom Cook, who explains: “Research into the circumstances of Joseph’s birth revealed a catalogue of errors which, cumulatively, resulted in severe brain damage.  The overriding mistake was delay, first by the midwifery team in not calling in a consultant or registrar as early as they should given the slow progress of the second stage of the delivery, and then in the length of time it took for the registrar to arrive once called.  There were then a number of other failures including not identifying correctly the position in which Joseph was lying, failing to monitor and interpret the cardiotochograph (CTG) correctly, and failing to speed up delivery by whatever was the most appropriate means.

The result is that, in spite of undergoing a range of therapies since birth Joseph was at the age of 7 showing severe learning difficulties and problems with his mobility.

We obtained sufficient interim funding to help with his ongoing treatment while fully assessing his claim.  We are now pleased to have obtained sufficient compensation to ensure that he is cared for appropriately for the rest of his life and that his potential for development can be maximised.  He is generally a happy and lovely child, but his life will not be an easy one.  He will always require care and therapy and will never be able to support himself financially by working.”


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