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Martha's Rule to be rolled out in hospitals from April 2024

On 21st February 2024 NHS England announced Martha's Rule will be rolled out in hospitals across England from April "enabling patients and families to seek an urgent review if their condition deteriorates." 

The patient safety initiative is set for implementation across a minimum of 100 NHS sites, starting from April 2024. It is set to provide patients and their families "round-the-clock access to a rapid review from an independent critical care team if they are worried about their or a loved one’s condition" (NHS England 21st February 2024). The process will be available 24/7 to patients, families and NHS staff and its availability will be widely publicized within hospitals, ensuring swift and convenient access for all. Read the NHS England announcement in full here.

“We are pleased that the implementation of Martha’s Rule will begin in April. We want it to be in place as quickly and as widely as possible, to prevent what happened to our daughter from happening to other patients in hospital.We believe Martha’s Rule will save lives. In cases of deterioration, families and carers by the bedside can be aware of changes busy clinicians can’t; their knowledge should be recognised as a resource. We also look to Martha’s Rule to alter medical culture: to give patients a little more power, to encourage listening on the part of medical professionals, and to normalise the idea that even the grandest of doctors should welcome being challenged. We call on all NHS clinicians to back the initiative: we know that the large majority do listen, are open with patients and never complacent – but Martha’s doctors worked in a different culture, so some situations need to change.Our daughter was quite something: fun and determined, with a vast appetite for life and so many plans and ambitions – we’ll never know what she would have achieved with all her talents. Hers was a preventable death, but Martha’s Rule will mean that she didn’t die completely in vain.”

Martha’s Parents, 21st February 2024, NHS England


Learn about the conceptual foundations and legal implications of Martha’s Rule in the NHS, and develop effective communication skills to articulate Martha’s Rule to patients and relatives of patients.

Join us at the forthcoming Martha's Rule: A Practical Guide to Implementation to improve Patient Safety conference which brings together leading experts at the forefront of Martha’s Rule implementation and offers a comprehensive and practical guide for clinical staff to seamlessly integrate Martha’s Rule into their daily practice.

  Choice of dates: 14th March 2024 and 5th July 2024 

  Location: Virtual Conference 

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