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Doctors tore down posters offering Martha’s Rule-style rights, teenager’s mother claims

Doctors tore down posters offering patients a secondary care review if they were worried about their condition in hospital, the mother of a teenager who died of sepsis claimed.

Merope Mills, who has campaigned for a similar policy called “Martha’s Rule” named after her 13-year-old daughter, claimed a small minority of “bad actors” in hospitals risked slowing down the initiative.

It comes as NHS England announced 100 hospitals with critical care units will be invited to sign up for the policy, which will be rolled out from April this year.

Martha died from sepsis in 2021 after staff at King’s College Hospital failed to move her to intensive care despite her family warning them her condition had deteriorated.

“When something similar to Martha’s Rule was introduced to Royal Berkshire Hospital, doctors actually pulled down the posters advertising the service to patients because they hated the idea of giving patients this kind of power,” Mrs Mills told the Today Programme.

“A small minority of bad actors whose arrogance, complacency or pride stops them listening and doing the right thing and that is what we are trying to challenge with Martha’s Rule. There are pockets of damaging cultures in hospitals around the country. Sometimes it is not a whole hospital, sometimes it is just a ward in a hospital, sometimes it is just a particular individual on a ward in a hospital.”

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Source: The Independent, 21 February 2024


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