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Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Friday, 11 January 2013

Compensation 'unsustainable for NHS'

It is 14 years since Charlie Scott was born and it is only now that his family have received compensation for the mistakes made during his birth which left him severely brain-damaged.

His mother Clare Scott has received £7.1m in damages and an apology from Royal Bournemouth NHS Trust.

Charlie was starved of oxygen and born with a serious form of cerebral palsy that has left him unable to walk, talk, sit up or drink without assistance.

Ms Scott explained to Today presenter Justin Webb that getting compensation was a long and draining ordeal.

"It's taken a very long time to get where we are today," she said.

Christine Tomkins chief executive of the Medical Defence Union, which insures private doctors against negligence claims, explained that legal claims are spiralling out of control and if the trend continues, they will bankrupt the NHS.

"We have a system where the cost of paying the damages in theses cases is really unsustainable," she said.

"Compensation disregards the sort of care that can be provided by the NHS... which is often very good and capable."

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