HEALTH bosses have been forced to pay a multi-million pound settlement to a family of a boy left severely disabled after an abnormal heartbeat was not acted upon during his birth.

A High Court Judge at the Royal Courts of Justice has this morning approved the £2m lump sum settlement from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for Toby Hart, seven, who suffered permanent brain damage after mistakes were made during his birth at Northallerton's Friarage Hospital.

He will also receive annual payments of £490,000 for the rest of his life.

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Toby, who suffers from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, has a severe learning disability, is registered blind and needs 24-hour care, support and rehabilitation for the rest of his life.

During his birth at the Friarage Hospital in October 2006, Toby’s heart rate slowed drastically but medical staff failed to spot he was in distress and he was born 25 minutes later than he should have been, starving his brain of oxygen and leaving him permanently brain damaged.

Toby now has to live with cerebral palsy and has almost no movement in all four limbs.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office have secured parents Michelle and Matthew Hart a lump sum to help cover costs of treatments, therapies, specialist equipment and adaptations that they need to their home.

Michelle, from Bedale, North Yorkshire, said: “Although nothing can turn back the clock and undo the mistakes made during Toby’s birth, it is a massive relief to know that his care and rehabilitation needs for the rest of his life will be taken care of by the final settlement.”

Angela Kirtley, a specialist medical negligence lawyer, said: “Toby’s parents have been incredibly resilient over the past seven years as they have had to come to terms with caring for Toby around the clock.

“The mistakes made during his birth were unacceptable and have had a life-changing effect not just on Toby, but the entire family and all those close to them."