Hospital faces payout over birth blunder

IPSWICH Hospital yesterday admitted clinical negligence during the birth of a nine-year-old girl who suffers from cerebral palsy.Holly Goodwyn, who lives in Ipswich, is severely disabled and finds it difficult to speak, relying on an electronic communication aid.

IPSWICH Hospital yesterday admitted clinical negligence during the birth of a nine-year-old girl who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Holly Goodwyn, who lives in Ipswich, is severely disabled and finds it difficult to speak, relying on an electronic communication aid.

Yesterday, the hospital admitted it was at fault when she was born, in January 1997.

Despite signs of foetal distress, medical staff failed to deliver her urgently and the hospital has accepted her condition is the result of that delay.


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Now the family's lawyers are issuing proceedings against the hospital at the High Court in London which could lead to a compensation pay-out.

In a statement, Lynne, Holly's mother, said it had been a difficult decision to take the case to the courts.

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“While we were reluctant to take legal action in this matter, we felt that the extent of the help Holly requires would not be available otherwise,” she said.

“We also hoped that lessons would be learned from Holly's birth and that the hospital would look at its practices so that the same errors would not be allowed to happen again. If we can prevent another family being affected like ours, then at least something positive would have come from Holly's plight.”

Sarah Coles, clinical negligence specialist lawyers Kester Cunningham John, which is pursuing the case, said: “Holly's parents are naturally deeply upset at what has happened to their daughter and wish desperately that no other parent should go through their experience.”

Holly needs 24-hour care - currently being provided by her parents at home and by learning support assistants at school - and also suffers from epilepsy.

Despite her difficulties, Holly has managed to pursue her education at Sidegate Lane Primary School and it is hoped she will go into further education.

Ms Coles added: “Holly is a fun-loving child with a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh. All she really wants to do is to be able to join in with her friends and family. To do this she will require constant help, care and supervision for the rest of her life.

“Holly's parents live with the nightmare of her birth on a daily basis. The future they had hoped for her will never be realised. They have gladly made many sacrifices to give Holly as normal a life as possible, but have come to realise that without help this was never going to be enough.”

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, confirmed the hospital had admitted clinical negligence in the case.

She said: “We recognise this is a tragic case and we will be commenting in full when the judgement is delivered.”

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