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King’s Mill Hospital near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in first NHS roll-out of new Martha’s rule scheme

King’s Mill Hospital is to be included in an NHS roll-out of Martha’s rule — allowing hospital patients and their families to seek a second opinion on their treatment.

NHS England announced in May that 143 hospital sites will be taking part in the scheme initially, as part of a plan to improve patient safety.

Martha’s rule is named after 13-year-old Martha Mills, who died from sepsis in 2021 after her family had raised repeated concerns regarding her deteriorating condition.

Kings Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Kings Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-Ashfield.

An inquest later found she could have survived with better care.

When the scheme has been fully implemented in NHS hospitals, patients, their families, staff and carers will be able to access a review by a separate care team if they are concerned about someone’s condition and concerned about the initial course of treatment.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, which runs King’s Mill Hospital, between Sutton and Mansfield, has opted to be part of a first group of hospitals across the country to implement the scheme.

The trust is aiming to roll out the scheme by Autumn 2024.

A report to the trust’s board, discussed on Thursday July 4, said: “The purpose of Martha’s Rule is to provide a consistent and understandable way for patients and families to seek an urgent review if their or their loved one’s condition deteriorates and they are concerned this is not being responded to.”

Nottingham’s hospitals are not involved in the initial expansion of the rule.

Around half of eligible hospitals in England are included in the first roll-out.

In a statement, Merope Mills and Paul Laity, Martha’s parents, said: “It will save lives and encourage better, more open, communication on hospital wards, so that patients feel they are listened to, and partners in their healthcare.”

Ms Mills began her campaign for Martha’s rule after Martha died of sepsis in 2021 having been treated at King’s College Hospital, south London.

She had injured her pancreas after slipping onto the handlebars of her bike while cycling. She died after developing an infection that led to sepsis.

The hospital later apologised for mistakes in her care.

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