Health Innovation East Midlands named as delivery partner for Martha’s Rule  

Posted by: Jamie Sharp - Posted on:

Health Innovation East Midlands (HIEM) has been selected by NHS England as a key delivery partner for implementing Martha’s Rule across our region. 

‘Martha’s Rule’, which gives patients and their families round-the-clock access to a rapid review from an independent critical care team if they are worried about their own or a loved one’s condition, is named in memory of thirteen-year old Martha Mills. 

Martha tragically died after developing sepsis in hospital due to a failure to escalate her to intensive care and after her family’s concerns about her deteriorating condition were not responded to promptly. 

Extensive campaigning by her parents Merope and Paul, supported by the cross-party think tank Demos, has seen widespread support for a single system that allows patients or their families to trigger an urgent clinical review from a different team in the hospital if the patient’s condition is rapidly worsening and they feel they are not getting the care they need. 

This national programme will build on NHS England’s Worry and Concern pilots launched at seven trusts last year, which developed and tested escalation methods for patients’ and families’ concerns. 

Work to support the delivery of Martha’s Rule builds on existing managing deterioration activity being delivered in our region by the East Midlands Patient Safety Collaborative, hosted by HIEM, as part of the national NHS Patient Safety Strategy

Since 2019, the East Midlands PSC has engaged with systems to support the implementation of deterioration tools – providing health and care staff with the training and confidence to recognise and escalate concerns around the physical deterioration in a number of settings such as care homes and hospitals. 

NHS England will soon start the process of recruiting the first 100 or more provider sites across England to take part in the first phase of Martha’s Rule implementation. 

Nicole McGlennon, Managing Director of Health Innovation East Midlands, said: “Listening to patients and service users is critical to the delivery of effective and safe care. We welcome the introduction of Martha’s Rule and look forward to supporting our NHS organisations across the East Midlands to embed this important initiative, alongside our other ongoing patient safety work.”