'We can start to move forward': Family of brain-injured baby recieves payment from Northampton General Hospital

Chloe Rolfe's family will receive damages from Northampton General Hospital for a brain injury she suffered before she was born.
Chloe Rolfe's family will receive damages from Northampton General Hospital for a brain injury she suffered before she was born.

NGH has agreed to pay a Northampton mum for an injury her child sustained in the 72 hours leading up to her birth.

Now eight-years-old, her daughter Chloe is severely disabled as a result and needs round-the-clock care.

Although Northampton General Hospital continues to dispute whether it was at fault for the incident, it has agreed to pay 75 per cent of the amount sought.

Robert Rose, a partner at Lime law firm, which represented the family, said: “This is a very sad case concerning a little girl who is severely disabled due to alleged errors in her care.

"The case has been ongoing since 2010, [and] her mother and grandmother have been responsible for providing around-the-clock care.

"I am also very sorry to hear that the hospital will not admit to any of the mistakes that the claimant alleges were made.

"It appears clear that the hospital will not offer any apology, and as a result, it is unclear whether any lessons will be learned. This, from a patient safety perspective, is extremely worrying.”

The court heard how the trust allegedly failed to properly monitor the growth of baby Chloe in the womb and could have spotted an abnormality in her growth. If this had been spotted, the pregnancy could have been induced at 38 weeks.

But instead, somewhere in the 72 hours before her birth in 2009, Chloe tragically suffered a period where her brain was starved of oxygen and she was born with severe disabilities.

Today, eight-year-old Chloe is severely disabled as a result of her injury. She is unable to mobilise independently or feed herself and she lacks the mental capacity to attend a mainstream school. She is highly unlikely to secure any form of employment in the future and she will need care and assistance for the remainder of her life.

Northampton mum Jade Hughes said: "This news comes as a relief but does not make up for what has happened. It is very difficult dealing with the knowledge that her disabilities might have been completely avoided if she had been delivered earlier by C-section. As Chloe will never grow up to have an independent life, this settlement will help get her the support she rightly deserves.

“The events around her birth will always have an impact on our family, but this decision can help us start to move forward.”

A spokeswoman for Northampton General Hospital said: “This was a complex case which added to the length of time it has taken to resolve. This was recognised by the judge yesterday who commended both sides on working together to reach a settlement.

“We have agreed to pay a proportion of the full value of the claim and the High Court has approved this in principle. Lawyers representing both sides will now work together on the details of the compensation.”