Merope Mills’ reaction to the introduction of Martha’s Rule

Reacting to the health secretary Steve Barclay’s announcement that he will introduce Martha’s Rule across the NHS, Martha’s mother, Merope Mills, said: 
“I met with the Secretary of State for Health yesterday and welcome the news that he will introduce Martha’s Rule across NHS England hospitals. He is prioritising its introduction and is ready to allocate funds to the initiative. It will be one standardised and recognisable right that will become part of patients’ experience on hospital wards.

“A team has been appointed to work out implementation; we appreciate Stephen Barclay’s commitment to work at speed in order to make Martha’s Rule happen as soon as possible.

Our incredible daughter Martha lost her life needlessly, far too young. We hope this new rule will put some power back into the hands of patients and prevent unnecessary deaths.”

Martha died two years after a series of failures to escalate her care despite her parents expressing concerns. You can read her full story here.

Demos has been working with the Martha’s parents, Merope Mills and Paul Laity, to develop the policy behind Martha’s Rule. You can read the report proposing it here.

Polly Curtis, Chief Executive of Demos, said: “It’s good to see cross-party commitment to Martha’s Rule and such swift action. In places that have introduced versions of this, lives have been saved and it is not overused or abused by patients. This is an important change to nudge culture change in hospitals so that patients are always listened to. Ultimately the aim is for medics to listen properly to patients and their families concerns, so that Martha’s Rule doesn’t need to be triggered.”