NHS payout to brain-damaged man

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A man in his 20s, left disabled by a childhood brain infection, has been awarded an NHS compensation package worth up to £6.2m.

Whilst being treated at Watford General Hospital as a baby, aged one, the man contracted encephalitis, a life-threatening inflammation of the brain.

His family ensued legal action against West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust to cover the lifetime cost of his care. His parents had cared for him for all his life, before they decided to contact solicitors in 2012.

They had thought that his disabilities, which include severe epilepsy, learning difficulties and behavioural problems, were related to the MMR vaccine.

However, the investigation found that there had been an eight-hour delay in giving him the anti-viral drug Acyclovir while he was treated in hospital in 1997.

His family was awarded a lump sum of £1.5m, and index-linked payments of £74,000 a year to cover the costs of his care for life.

His parents said: “All we have ever wanted is for our son to receive the care he needs because of his condition.”

The settlement means “we will be able to concentrate on the future and try and help him make the most of life”.

Michele Benjamin, a specialist Medical Negligence Lawyer said: “It is very tragic that at such an early age this young man’s fate was already decided at the hands of the NHS Trust. Nothing can turn the clock back but damages awarded in these cases help to some extent by providing essential therapies, care and equipment that would otherwise not be available to families in this situation.”

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