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Health Secretary backs Martha’s Rule giving right to second medical opinion

The government has backed Martha’s rule, a campaign to give families and patients the right to a second assessment if they feel their concerns are not being taken seriously.

Health secretary Steve Barclay said ministers are “committed” to implementing the rule, insisting the case for it is “compelling”.

Martha Mills died after developing sepsis while under the care of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in south London.

Mr Barclay said the case set out by Ms Mills, was “compelling”.

“For everyone that has heard it, it is an absolutely heartbreaking case,” he told the BBC.

Mr Barclay said: “I’m determined that we ensure we learn the lessons from it and very keen to learn from best international practice.”

Mr Barclay said there are “international lessons”, particularly from Ryan’s Rule in Australia, giving patients a direct line to a second opinion.

“And I particularly want to give much more credence to the voice of patients,” Mr Barclay said.

He added: “I think a key part of this measure is ensuring that patients feel heard and can get a second opinion.”

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Source: The Independent, 14 September 2023


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