Over 140 Hospitals Embrace Martha’s Rule Initiative

Over 140 Hospitals Embrace Martha’s Rule Initiative
credit: theguardian

London (Parliament News) – More than 140 hospitals adopt Martha’s Rule, ensuring doctors address parents’ concerns about children’s NHS care. The rule allows for second opinions, prompted by avoidable sepsis death.

More than 140 hospitals have committed to bringing in Martha’s Rule, assuring that doctors must respond to parents’ worries about how their children are coping under NHS care. The new rule provides patients and their families the freedom to have a second medical opinion if their own or a loved one’s condition worsens.

Doctors will be advised that they must make formal notices of changes in behaviour or disease seen by those who know the patient best. 

How did the death of Martha lead to changes in NHS policy?

Martha’s Rule is being brought in following the avoidable demise of a teenage girl from sepsis, a life-threatening response in which the immune system inundates the body’s tissues and organs.

What prompted Merope Mills to campaign for changes in NHS rules?

Merope Mills started campaigning for NHS rules to be altered after her 13-year-old daughter Martha passed at King’s College Hospital, London, in 2021.  Doctors missed symptoms of sepsis and did not take heed of signs from Martha’s parents that her situation was rapidly deteriorating.

“We hope it will do an immense amount of good by enhancing communication and encouraging doctors just to be more open and to attend to patients more carefully,” Mrs Mills informed the BBC. “We also want patients to be capable of challenging this culture of deference that we have, this sense that doctor always knows best, because I have come to think that a more equal relationship is a safer relationship.”

The NHS described the opening of the rule as “the next step in a significant patient safety initiative”.

Why is Martha’s Rule considered a significant patient safety initiative?

Prof Sir Stephen Powis, the NHS national medical director, stated: “Rolling out Martha’s Rule to 

over 143 NHS sites in this first step will represent one of the most significant changes to patient care in recent years. “We are pleased to have witnessed such interest from hospitals right across the country, all thanks to the comforting and dedicated campaigning by Martha’s parents, Merope and Paul.”

How did sepsis affect Craig Mackinlay and what was the outcome?

Craig Mackinlay, the Tory MP, recently informed The Telegraph how he had lost his arms and legs to sepsis. Describing how the disease took hold the day before a scheduled holiday to Turkey, he stated: “I had felt a little bit suffering during the day, just a bit off colour, and anyway we had an early flight to catch the next day.”

In the night, however, he stated he was “violently sick” and “in the morning I was more sinister”. His wife crushed paramedics to take him to hospital, where a proper and life-saving diagnosis was made.

How does sepsis affect different demographics according to Victoria Atkins?

Victoria Atkins, the Health Secretary, stated: “In February, I announced to Parliament that Martha’s Rule would be rolled out to around 100 hospitals, supported by £10 million, ahead of a national rollout. I am delighted that this has been surpassed, with 143 hospitals now taking part in the first year of operation.” Around 50,000 people a year pass away from sepsis, but many are older and suffering from other illnesses.

Massimiliano  Verde

Massimiliano Verde is a journalist at Parliament News, He is covering Society and Culture News. Boasting a Master's Degree in Political Science, stands as a prominent figure in the Italian cultural landscape. His presidency of the Neapolitan Academy, a scientifically and sociolinguistically renowned group, attests to his relentless dedication to safeguarding and promoting Neapolitan language and culture. His activism and profound expertise have propelled him into the role of interlocutor for UNESCO as part of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), a prestigious acknowledgment highlighting the significance of his efforts in preserving the linguistic and cultural diversity of our planet.

Verde's fervent passion for the history and culture of Southern Italy has driven him to immerse himself in research, resulting in numerous essays and articles that delve into the peculiarities and beauties of the region. His commitment extends beyond academia, manifesting in ongoing dissemination activities aimed at acquainting the general public with the rich cultural heritage of the South. His endeavors transcend national boundaries, as evidenced by his participation in international conferences and collaboration with various foreign institutions, rendering him an ambassador of Southern culture on the global stage and fostering intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.