Errors by UK National Health Service (NHS) staff that lead to newborn infants sustaining brain damage are costing the health service more than 235 million pounds in legal costs.
This is according to official figures from the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) obtained by the Guardian, showing that this amount has been set aside to settle claims arising from cases in which children's low blood sugar levels were not properly detected.
The figure represents the total cost of settling 60 claims, of which 19 have already been concluded, but the number could yet rise once the cost of covering the babies' lifelong care needs is calculated.
Healthcare stakeholders have stated that these figures demonstrate the need for a higher standard of monitoring of babies' feeding habits and blood sugar levels among doctors and midwives.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: "Neonatal hypoglycaemia should never go undetected in a baby who is at risk. Where there are failures in care, these should be fully investigated to ensure lessons are learned to prevent mistakes happening again."
In 2010/11, a total of 863 million pounds was paid in connection with clinical negligence claims, up from 787 million pounds the year before.