Rotherham Hospital sued over treatment of baby who suffered severe brain injury

THE MUM of a girl who suffered meningitis and septicaemia at just a few days old has gone to the High Court to sue the hospital she accuses of mistreating her daughter.

The mother, who is from Swinton, has issued the claim against Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of her daughter, who was born at Rotherham Hospital in April 2018 and is said to need round-the-clock care.

Claim papers which have just been made publicly available at the court in London state that doctors failed to examine and treat the little girl.

They allege that delays in diagnosing and treating her when she was just three days old, resulted in her suffering from meningitis and septicaemia.

The five-year-old girl will need round the clock care for the rest of her life, say the papers, which add that she is fed by a tube, has cerebral palsy with profound cognitive and physical problems, very limited communication and sight problems.

Court documents say the former patient will never be able to work, will never be able to manage her own affairs, and is at high risk of needing orthopaedic surgery in future.

Unlimited damages of more than £200,000 are being sought in respect of the little girl’s condition, which is said to be of “maximum severity”.

Three days after she was born, according to the court papers, the girl became unwell, with fitting, and grey, mottled legs, and a health visitor who called that day said she should be taken to hospital, but did not arrange an emergency admission.

When she was taken to Rotherham Hospital, she was not assessed by a doctor for more than four hours, by which time her condition had deteriorated, it is claimed.

The baby’s brain is said to have been starved of oxygen after she developed septicaemia and meningitis, leading to cerebral palsy.

Her mother accuses the trust of negligent mismanagement of her condition, and relies on a letter from the trust’s solicitors dated January 26, 2021, which says her daughter should have been urgently taken to hospital by ambulance after the health visitor’s visit.

After the baby reached hospital, “there were further failures to provide clinical assessment, investigation and treatment within an appropriate time”.

The letter from the trust admits she should have been seen and assessed on arrival, admitted to a ward for monitoring and investigations, and given intravenous antibiotics within an hour of her arrival.

Her mother says that without negligence, her daughter would have been treated successfully, and she would not have suffered any brain injury, nor developed cerebral palsy.

Helen Dobson, chief nurse at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As a trust, we believe in the importance of being open and transparent about the care given to patients.

“However, we are unable to comment on an ongoing case.”