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Martha's Rule: Empowering Patients to Seek Second Opinions

Martha's Rule, a new initiative allowing patients and families to seek a second opinion, aims to transform NHS hospitals. Championed by Merope Mills, the program, signed up by 143 hospitals, will enable urgent reviews by critical care teams and improve patient-doctor communication. All NHS hospitals will adopt it, with outreach materials being prepared to empower patients.
Martha's Rule, a new initiative allowing rapidly deteriorating patients and their families to seek a second opinion, is set to transform NHS hospitals.

This scheme was championed by Merope Mills after her 13-year-old daughter, Martha Mills, died of sepsis in 2021.

143 NHS hospitals have signed up for the program, which enables patients to request an urgent review from a critical care outreach team.

The rule aims to improve communication and challenge the 'culture of deference' towards doctors.

Clinicians will also document daily insights from patients' families to ensure better care.

The initiative will be rolled out across all NHS hospitals, with materials to educate and empower patients being prepared.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis emphasized that while some hospitals require additional resources, the program marks a significant step towards a more patient-inclusive healthcare system.
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