£11.5 MILLION has being awarded to a five-year-old who was severely brain damaged at birth in a believed record compensation payout by the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

The hospital will make payments to provide a lifetime of care to the boy after he was severely brain damaged as a result of negligence by midwives.

The child would have been unharmed if he had been delivered 11 minutes earlier, London's High Court was told.

His umbilical cord had suffered a prolapse causing a shortage of oxygen to his brain, which has left him suffering cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs.

Midwives were blamed for not noticing or responding to the injury, and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability for the incident in November 2012.

The round-the-clock care he needs will now be funded by the payout, which also includes a sum for lost earnings and provision for future education costs.

Interim payments have allowed the family to access specialist rehabilitation, which has funded a move to more suitable rented accommodation with his parents, a team of carers, a team of therapists, specialist equipment and a wheelchair adapted vehicle.

Now following the hearing at the High Court yesterday, the £11.5 million will grant him access to specialist treatment for the rest of his life, including £1m for future education costs if the Local Authority place him in an unsuitable school.

Judge Brian Forster heard that the boy, who has a considerable degree of preserved intellect, was doing well at school and needed a good education to fulfil his potential.

Martin Forde QC, for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, repeated its apology for what had happened and acknowledged that money was no consolation.

He added that the child had made "remarkable progress" which was due to the "utterly devoted care" he had received from his parents and wider family.

The huge sum is believed to be the largest ever payout made by the Royal Sussex, and falls only ten per cent shy of the UK record payout for a medical negligence lawsuit, the £13 million paid by the Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire paid in May of this year.

Jane Weakley, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the boy’s family, said: ”We hope that lessons are learnt by the hospital and their staff so that patient safety in this situation can be improved and each and every patient receives the best quality of care at all times.”