- “Martha’s Rule” to Ensure Patients’ Right to a Second Opinion
- Tragic Case of 13-Year-Old Martha Sparks Implementation Efforts
- Exploring Lessons from Similar Programs Abroad for Swift Adoption
The health secretary supports the implementation of “Martha Rule” to ensure hospital patients are aware of their right to a second opinion, and NHS England will initiate implementation efforts.
Steve Barclay met Merope Mills on Wednesday, who had expressed concerns to physicians about her daughter’s treatment.
After sliding off of her bicycle, 13-year-old Martha was hospitalized.
Her pancreas injury was severe but survivable. However, she perished within days of sepsis.
Her excessive bleeding was a usual infection side effect, and her coagulation was slightly weakened, doctors told Mrs. Mills.
The King’s College Hospital trust stated that it was “deeply sorry that we failed Martha when she needed us most” and that Martha’s parents should have been heeded.
An inquest said she could have survived had her care been better.
Mr. Barclay told Today that he was committed to swiftly implementing Martha’s rule.
“Merope’s argument is compelling,” he declared on the program.
“It is, I believe, a tragic case for everyone who has heard it, and I am determined that we learn the lessons from it”.
I particularly want to assign greater weight to the opinions of patients.
This measure should ensure patients feel heard and can get a second view.
Mr. Barclay has requested that the patient safety commissioner meet with NHS leaders and examine comparable programs abroad.
Ryan’s rule was implemented in hospitals in Queensland, Australia, following the death of a child with a serious infection that was poorly managed.
Mr. Barclay told Today that “there is room for us to move much more quickly in terms of pediatrics and ensuring, particularly in that area, that we adopt quickly… but to do so in a way that is easy to communicate to patients, rather than having many different schemes across the country.”
Prof. Sir Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, stated on Monday that change is necessary. But various hospitals may require different approaches.
“Patient and relative voice is paramount,” he stated.
In the last six months or so, NHS England has collaborated with several hospitals across England to determine what methodologies and processes will ensure that the voice of the patient is heard when necessary.