The story behind Martha’s rule is depressingly familiar. A parent raising significant concerns about their daughter’s ongoing care only to be ignored with tragic consequences. Unfortunately, this feels like the latest in a long line of incidents where the NHS has failed to heed warnings from patients and their families about the quality of their care.
This article by Dan Wellings looks at recent collaborative work by The King's Fund and the Heads of Patient Experience (HOPE) network to understand why the NHS is still too often not listening to people who use its services. He highlights that progress made since the early 2000s in improving how the health service listens to patients has stalled, with the proportion of patients feeling involved in decisions about their care or treatment falling in recent years. He also outlines how organisational cultures that focus disproportionately on the positive miss opportunities to hear and respond to stories that demonstrate serious patient safety and experience issues.