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Hospital apologises to disabled boy after £12m payout

A hospital trust has apologised to the family of a seven-year-old boy who has received a £12m compensation payout. Toby Hart will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life after staff at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton failed to spot he had an abnormal heartbeat when he was born.

Toby Hart in 2009, when his family were filmed for ITV News Tyne Tees

South Tees NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are sorry that the care afforded to Mrs Hart and to Toby fell below an acceptable standard and that Toby suffered very substantial injuries as a result.

"We have apologised for the failings and that apology is repeated together with every good wish to Toby and his family.

The trust acknowledges that no amount of money can compensate adequately for the damage suffered but it is hoped at least that the agreed sum will give some financial security and provide for Toby's needs."

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£12m payout for disabled boy

A High Court judge has approved a £12m compensation agreement for a seven-year-old boy left severely disabled after an abnormal heartbeat was not 'acted upon' during his birth, lawyers said.

Toby Hart, of Bedale, North Yorkshire, will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

Mr and Mrs Hart later said they hoped that the NHS would invest in better midwife training.

Lawyers said a settlement had been agreed with the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The hospital has apologised to the Hart family.

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Friarage Hospital to be downgraded after Government rejects review application

Controversial pans to downgrade services at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton are to go ahead.

Friarage Hospital in Northallerton
Friarage Hospital in Northallerton

Jeremy Hunt today said that he agreed with the findings of an Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) after the decision to change services was referred by North Yorkshire County Council's Scrutiny of Health Committee.

Children's and maternity services at the site will now be downgraded.

Councillor Jim Clark, chair of the North Yorkshire County Council Scrutiny of Health Committee said: "We have gone as far as we can so we now need to accept this decision and look forward.

"We will be looking to make sure the transition to a short stay paediatric assessment unit and a midwife led maternity unit at the Friarage Hospital...are implemented as smoothly and with as little disruption to patients as possible."

Friarage Hospital in Northallerton
Friarage Hospital in Northallerton

Vicky Pleydell, Chief Clinical Officer at Hambleton, Richmondshire & Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group, welcomed the decision:

"We hope that people who have had concerns about these plans will be reassured by the Secretary of State's decision based on independent clinical advice, and are now confident that this is absolutely the right thing to do."

Lord Ribeiro, Chairman of the IRP, said: "_The quality of patient care has been our primary concern and after considering the matter carefully we believe these changes will ensure the best care for local women and children.

"We have taken into account the clinical evidence about the current and future safety and sustainability of maternity services and the need to make best use of scarce resources, and believe these proposals are the most effective way of meeting the challenges currently facing the Friarage Hospital."

Friarage Hospital decision sent for independent review

A decision to downgrade services at the Friarage Hospital in North Yorkshire has been sent to the Secretary of State for review.

Friarage Hospital, Northallerton Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

It was decided in February 2014 that children's and maternity services at the Friarage in Northallerton would be scaled back. It was claimed that treatment at larger hospitals in Middlesbrough, Leeds or Darlington would be safer.

However, thousands of families have campaigned against the move, saying it would be risky for patients to travel further.

William Hague, the Conservative MP for the area, has asked for the decision to be reconsidered.

Now it has been decided it will be sent to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, requesting a full review by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

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Public meeting begins over future of maternity and children's services at Friarage Hospital

Golden Lion Hotel
Public meeting being held in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. Credit: ITV

A public meeting is being held this morning at the Golden Lion Hotel in Northallerton, to discuss the future of children's and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital. It was decided last week that services will be scaled back.

Campaigners, councillors and members of the Clinical Commissioning Group, which made the decision, will take part.

Maternity service meeting for the public

Friarage Hospital in Northallerton Credit: ITV News

A public meeting will be held this morning to discuss how maternity care will operate at The Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

It follows a decision last week by the hospital to scale back paediatric and maternity services.

The existing service, run by consultants, will become midwife-led.

The changes will start in October.

Today's meeting is being held at The George Hotel in Northallerton and has been organised by NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group.

William Hague 'disappointed' over Friarage

Richmond MP William Hague says he is disappointed plans to scale back paediatric and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Richmond MP William Hague says he is disappointed plans will now be put forward to scale back paediatric and maternity services at the Friarage Hospital.

Mr Hague said: “While there are legitimate clinical concerns faced by the Friarage, these are challenges to be overcome and not surrendered to.

"While I am disappointed by this recommendation, I welcome the news that GPs have insisted on a seven day model of paediatric care, rather than the five that was previously recommended.

"If these recommendations take effect it is vital that we have clear and firm assurances from other local providers, particularly Darlington Hospital, that they have the capacity to handle safely and effectively any extra demand as a result of these changes.

"I will be following closely the next meeting of North Yorkshire County Council’s Scrutiny of Health Committee and working with them if they decide to refer this decision to the IndependentReconfiguration Panel.”

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