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Ewan Walker

January 13, 2012

The High Court has ruled that a boy who suffered brain damage after an east London hospital discharged him early, should receive a £6.5m care settlement.

Ewan Waker, now 15, was born at Harold Wood Hospital in Havering in April 1996.

The High Court heard that he had “dangerously low” blood sugar levels.

Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said it was working hard to ensure “lessons are learnt”.

Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell which represented Ewan said they hoped lessons from the “devastating error” would be shared across the NHS.

The High Court heard that in 1996 midwives at Harold Wood Hospital sent Ewan and his mother, Cecilia, home, despite blood tests showing he was suffering from neonatal hypoglycaemia.

Irwin Mitchell said it was not until a community midwife visited the baby at home in Romford that the extent of his illness was spotted.

Irreversible damage

The delay left him with irreversible brain damage, severe visual impairment and learning difficulties.

This has left him “struggling with basic day-to-day tasks and in need of specialist care for the rest of his life”, it said.

Ewan Waker’s family decided to pursue the action in November 2009.

A letter in response to the claim was received from the trust in February 2010.

Anita Jewitt from Irwin Mitchell, said she welcomed the trust’s early admission of fault.

“Expert evidence obtained confirmed that if his blood test results had been acted upon before he was discharged, his glucose levels could have been corrected and his injuries avoided,” she said.

A spokesman for the trust said it worked hard “to ensure that the quality of its healthcare services continues to improve and lessons are learnt following untoward incidents”.

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