A mother who says her daughter was starved of oxygen at birth and will never be able to work, or live independently, has launched a potentially massive High Court compensation claim against a hospital trust.

The baby girl was born at Watford General Hospital on December 13 2014 and a writ issued at the court in London, and recently made publicly available, says that if she had been born just minutes earlier she would have been neurologically normal.

However, the family, who live in Bushey, say that delays in delivery meant that she was born a grey/blue colour, floppy and pale, and had to be resuscitated before she was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit where she was cooled to help her recovery.

Now the girl has cerebral palsy with involuntary movements, epilepsy, and a very small head.

She has communication problems, cannot speak, needs help with all aspects of her daily life, as well as equipment, care, therapies, and special accommodation. Her life expectancy is reduced, and she is expected to live until she is just 41.

Her claim for damages, which has been brought through her mother, is for injuries of the maximum severity, the court will hear.

The papers say the mother was admitted to the midwifery-led birth centre at Watford General on December 13 2014, in labour and baby was delivered at 15.44pm.

The family accuse West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust of negligence, and says a midwife failed to respond properly after she heard the baby’s heart rate decelerate. They say she should have arranged for the mother to be transferred to the consultant led obstetric unit.

If that had happened, it is claimed that, with proper care, her baby would have been delivered by forceps by 3.30pm and resuscitated.

The trust is said to have admitted in a letter in August 2019 that staff should have decided to carry out a cardiotocography by 3.01pm, and called an obstetrician by 3.15pm the court will hear.

The trust has also admitted that the decision to deliver the baby should have been taken by 3.27pm hours, the writ says.

The little girl suffered a brain injury as a result of being starved of oxygen, in turn caused by the collapse of her circulation at the end of labour and immediately before birth, the papers say.