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NHS announces 143 hospitals to roll out Martha’s Rule

The NHS has announced on the 27th May 2024, that 143 hospitals will be rolling out the new patient safety initiative, Martha’s Rule. 

This initiative allows patients and families to request an urgent review if they believe their condition is deteriorating without proper response. Named after Martha Mills, who tragically died from sepsis in 2021, the rule aims to improve communication and responsiveness in hospitals. The program includes a 24/7 escalation process, daily insights from families, and involves critical care outreach teams. This rollout is part of a broader effort to enhance patient care and safety.

Martha’s Rule is made up of three components:

  • a 24/7 escalation process for patients and families to get help if they think a patient’s condition is worsening
  • staff can also use this process to escalate concerns
  • daily information about a patient’s health will be recorded by clinicians directly from the patient's families 

Key Points:

  • 143 hospitals to implement 'Martha's Rule' by March 2025
  • Initiative includes a 24/7 escalation process and daily family insights
  • Named in honor of Martha Mills, promoting better patient-caregiver communication

The goal of Martha’s Rule is to improve communication and ensure that patients’ concerns are heard. This is an important step forward in patient safety. Read the full NHS article and list of hospitals here

Training on the implementation of Martha's Rule | Virtual, Online

Choice of dates: Friday 5 July 2024 or Wednesday 9 October 2024

This conference 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. The conference delves into the caregiver’s perspective, principles and implications of Martha’s Rule, legal and patient safety considerations, effective communication strategies, and the use of technology in the adoption of Martha’s Rule. Throughout the day, there will be interactive sessions, small breakout groups, and collaborative exercises, fostering a dynamic learning experience. 

Find more details about the conference here, and follow updates on X #MarthasRule @HCUK_Clare 


We are pleased that the roll-out of Martha’s Rule is off to a flying start and that the need for it has been so widely recognised. “It will save lives and encourage better, more open, communication on hospital wards, so that patients feel they are listened to, and partners in their healthcare.”

Merope Mills and Paul Laity, Martha’s parents, May 2024 


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