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Massive pay out for NHS blunder

Hannah Louise Gudd was only 10 years of age when she contracted cerebral palsy of such a severe nature that she became blind and will never again have the experience of eating solid foods.
This was determined to be the result of oxygen starvation that occurred during her birth at the Northampton General Hospital on April 1st 2001.

Hannah by way of her mother, Emma Gudd, of Dodford near Daventry, sued the hospital claiming that her condition was due to the negligence of hospital staff. The hospital admitted liability, and at the recent proceedings in the High Court in London, Margaret Bowen QC representing the Trust, stated that a settlement had been agreed between the parties.

Hannah will receive one lump sum of £1.15million and in addition annual, index-linked, tax-free payments for the costs of caring for her for the remainder of her life. Simeon Maskrey QC representing the family told the Judge that the additional settlement payments awarded are calculated at £135,000 every year until 2019, and thereafter, £225,000-a-year for the remainder of her life.

Statistics indicate that 82 years is the average life expectancy of women in Northamptonshire. On this basis, Hannah could have expected to receive total payments throughout her life of £19.8 million. However, in addition to her disabilities, the Court heard that Hannah’s own life expectancy had been drastically reduced by the incident.

The settlement will not be paid directly from the funds of Northampton General Hospital, as similar to all NHS hospitals, contributions are made to an insurance type plan, for the protection of Trusts from bankruptcy following incidents of this nature. It is estimated there are about 100 incidents of this kind every year in England and Wales.

During the High Court hearing, Justice Lang gave credit to the selflessness displayed by Mr and Mrs. Gudd. The presiding Judge also praised Mr and Mrs. Gudd’s selflessness displayed throughout their daughter’s life, for their devoted care and that it was appropriate for Hannah to accept the lump sum and periodical payments offered by the defendant and the settlement was approved.