The NHS has admitted failings in the care of a woman who suffered disastrous brain injuries as a baby, and agreed to pay a record £19.8m in damages to the woman.

The woman, now 18, was left severely disabled due to being deprived of oxygen when she was in hospital at just five months old whilst being treated for reflux back in early 2000. It is currently the largest compensation package the NHS has ever been forced to pay; reflecting both the severity of the injuries, as well as the total lifetime costs of her requiring around the clock home care.

The compensation will be paid by Cardiff and Vale University health board, which operates the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, the site at which the woman received poor care, after the high court judge agreed that the hospital staff had failed to ventilate the girl properly. The woman will receive £203,000 per year for the rest of her life, as well as an initial lump sum of £2.1m.

Chief executive of the charity Action against Medical Accidents, Peter Walsh, commented that had the NHS admitted it’s mistake much earlier, not only could money have been saved that was wasted on fighting the claim, but the family may have been spared a little of the pain.

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