Martha’s rule to be rolled out in 143 NHS hospitals in England | Hospitals

Martha’s rule, a patient safety measure allowing those whose health is deteriorating to get an urgent second opinion about their treatment, is set to be introduced in 143 hospitals in England, the NHS has stated. This initiative, highlighted by NHS representatives as a pivotal shift in patient care over recent years, will enable patients, families, and staff to receive an evaluation of their condition and treatment directly from medical professionals not involved in their primary care team. Patients at the participating hospitals will have 24/7 access to a critical care team from another part of the facility who specialize in the care of deteriorating patients and will come to evaluate the situation. An internal phone number will be displayed on posters and pamphlets throughout the hospitals. The initial goal was to enroll 100 sites. However, NHS England announced that this goal was surpassed due to “significant interest” from frontline healthcare providers. The initial phase of the programme will commence in the autumn and be operational at all 143 sites by March 2025. This measure is a direct consequence of pressure placed on politicians, NHS executives, and physicians after Merope Mills, a senior editor at the Guardian, and her spouse, Paul Laity, shared the tragic account of what happened to their daughter, 13-year-old Martha, who succumbed to sepsis at King’s College Hospital in London in 2021. “We are pleased that the rollout of Martha’s rule is progressing rapidly and that its necessity has been widely acknowledged,” Martha‘s parents expressed in a statement on Monday. “It will save lives and foster better, more transparent communication on hospital wards, ensuring patients feel heard and involved in their healthcare.” Martha had suffered a pancreas injury after falling off her bicycle during a summer holiday. Nonetheless, doctors at King’s College ignored her parents’ concerns, including the potential for sepsis, a leading cause of preventable death that claims approximately 40,000 lives annually in the UK. Some doctors were aware days before her death that Martha had sepsis but did not inform her parents and failed to transfer her to intensive care. An inquest revealed she would likely have survived had she been moved to intensive care sooner, which her parents had requested. Prof Stephen Powis, the medical director of NHS England, remarked: “Implementing Martha’s rule in over 143 NHS locations during this first phase will signify one of the most significant enhancements to patient care in recent years, and we are delighted to see such keen interest from hospitals across the nation, all due to the heartfelt and determined efforts by Martha‘s parents, Merope and Paul.”

Leave a Comment