Martha's Law - new right for carers in hospitals

Adult carers, Armed forces carers, Parent carers, Young adult carers
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Special circumstances help for carers in hospital: Martha’s Rule

A new policy is being rolled out from April in English hospitals, giving carers and those they care for new rights. 

The new policy is called Martha’s rule, and applies when you are concerned about the condition of the person you care for and want it reviewed.

Martha’s rule

Martha’s Rule, once implemented, means that carers, as well as patients and staff, will be able to access a round-the-clock rapid review from a separate care team if they are worried about a patient’s condition.

Implementation will happen in stages, starting with c130 hospitals that provide critical care, with the remaining hospitals due to adopt the scheme in 2025.

Participating hospitals will be expected to also record daily information on a patient’s health after speaking directly with their patients and carers/families.

Martha Mills

This new policy has come into being following the tragic death of Martha Mills.

She was a 13-year-old who developed sepsis in hospital, where she had been admitted with a pancreatic injury after falling off her bike. Her family consistently expressed concerns about her deteriorating condition (which happened over a Bank Holiday weekend) but these concerns were not responded to and Martha died.

A coroner ruled in 2023 that Martha would probably have survived had she been moved to intensive care earlier.

Find out more about the policy on the NHS website.

Martha’s Rule

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