The NHS has paid compensation to a young man left permanently disabled, after hospital staff failed to spot he had meningitis.
The seventeen year old teenager, who can only be referred to as ‘H’, for legal reasons, was just seven years old when his parents took him to the A&E department of the Princess Alexandra Hospital, in Essex, when he complained of backache and feeling generally unwell.
However hospital staff failed to spot the early warning signs of meningitis and it was over a week later that his condition was finally detected and diagnosed.
Due to the delay the youngster had to be rushed to the world renowned Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, for emergency cranial surgery, where surgeons battled to save his life.
‘H’ survived the surgery but his brain had already been damaged and he now has to live with a permanent disability.
With the help of his mother the teenager launched a claim for clinical negligence compensation against the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, claiming that the hospital had been negligent by failing to spot the onset of meningitis.
The NHS Trust admitted liability for the incident and paid ‘H’ a lump sum payment of £1 million, with annual index linked payments to follow, which will pay for his care for the rest of his life.