Solihull patients among first to test new NHS Martha's Rule - The Solihull Observer

Solihull patients among first to test new NHS Martha's Rule

Solihull Editorial 29th May, 2024   0

SOLIHULL patients are set to will be among those to test and roll out Martha’s Rule in its first year.

This comes as the NHS confirmed 143 hospital sites including Solihull Hospital, Heartlands Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Birmingham Children’s Hospital which will test implementation of Martha’s Rule is the next step in a major patient safety initiative.

The purpose of Martha’s Rule is to provide a consistent and understandable way for patients and families to seek an urgent review if their or their loved one’s condition deteriorates and they are concerned this is not being responded to.

The scheme is named after Martha Mills, who died from sepsis aged 13 in 2021, having been treated at King’s College Hospital, London, due to a failure to escalate her to intensive care and after her family’s concerns about her deteriorating condition were not responded to.

NHS England is working with Martha’s parents to develop materials to advertise and explain the initiative in hospitals across the country, to ensure it is something that all patients, staff, and their families can recognise.

Evaluation of how the system works over the course of this year will inform proposals for Martha’s Rule to be expanded further across all acute hospitals, subject to future government funding.




Merope Mills and Paul Laity, Martha’s parents, said: “We are pleased that the roll-out of Martha’s Rule is off to a flying start and that the need for it has been so widely recognised.

“It will save lives and encourage better, more open, communication on hospital wards, so that patients feel they are listened to, and partners in their healthcare.”


Martha’s Rule is to be made up of three components to ensure concerns about deterioration can be responded to.

Firstly, the escalation process will be available 24/7 at all the 143 sites, advertised throughout the hospitals on posters and leaflets, enabling patients and families to contact a critical care outreach team.

Secondly, NHS staff will also have access to this same process if they have concerns about a patient’s condition.

Finally, alongside this, clinicians at participating hospitals will also formally record daily insights and information about a patient’s health directly from their families, ensuring any concerning changes in behaviour or condition noticed by the people who know the patient best are considered by staff.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said: “The inclusion of daily insights from families about their loved ones’ condition within patient records is also a really significant step and will help staff identify changes and deterioration using insights from those who know the patient best.

“While thankfully the need for escalation of care will hopefully only be needed in a limited number of cases, this three-step safety net has the opportunity to truly transform patient care and safety.”

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