High court judgement paves way for lifetime care for boy left with severe cerebral palsy (From Worcester News)
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High court judgement paves way for lifetime care for boy left with severe cerebral palsy
THE family of a boy left with severe cerebral palsy after he was starved of oxygen during his birth at Worcestershire Royal Hospital have spoken of their relief after a High Court Judge paved the way for a lifetime care package.
Eleven-year-old Daniel Spencer, from Malvern, has been left in need of 24-hour care after midwives were slow to respond when mum Susan began bleeding during birth and failed to call a doctor when his heart rate started fluctuating.
Medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell representing the family said Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust offered to accept majority responsibility for Daniel’s injuries which a judge approved during a settlement meeting the High Court in Birmingham today.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said it accepted the ruling and is pleased that Daniel's future is now secure.
The judgement is a step forward in securing a care-package for Daniel which will guarantee his future rehabilitation and 24-hour care needs are met.
Devoted parents Susan and Olly Spencer, who have three other children, said they had worried about what the future held for Daniel.
Mr Spencer said: “Today feels like a new beginning for him and gives us peace of mind that no matter what happens in the future, he will always have access to the best possible care and support.
“We can concentrate on being a family of six together and try and make life as fun as possible for all the children.
“We just hope the Trust has improved maternity services and learnt from what went wrong in the hope of preventing any other family from going through what we have.”
The garden centre manager said he went straight to midwives for help when his wife began bleeding during Daniel’s birth but it took about ten minutes before anyone came to examine her.
“Even then there was no sense of urgency but we were completely in their hands and helpless.
“When we were told about Dan’s brain damage it was hard not to feel very angry but we focused all our efforts on providing for him and trying to give him the best quality of life possible.”
The couple’s lives revolve around making sure their son, who attends a specialist school and uses an electric wheelchair, has everything he needs.
Mr Spencer continued: “Despite his brain injury Dan is an absolute joy to be around and his brother and sisters dote on him. He continues to amaze us every day with his positive personality and we’re so proud of everything he has achieved.”
Sara Burns, from Irwin Mitchell which represented the family and specialises in birth injury claims, paid tribute to the couple’s tremendous devotion and support to help Daniel achieve the best quality of life possible.
“Today’s judgement means the family are now one step closer to this lifetime of care and we will now work to arrange a settlement as quickly as possible.
“This will provide Daniel with rehabilitation such as physiotherapy, live-in carers and specialist equipment including electronic wheelchairs.”
“The birth of a child should be one of the happiest times of people’s lives but sadly we continue to be contacted by families who are devastated by the consequences of not receiving the care they deserved.
“Improvements need to be made across the NHS in midwifery training and staffing levels to ensure each mum and baby receive the appropriate support to prevent the same repeated mistakes being made time and time again.”