Government backs Martha’s rule on second medical opinion in England

The health secretary, Steve Barclay, has announced the government is committed to bringing in “Martha’s rule” in England, making it easier for patients and their families to get a second medical opinion if they believe their concerns are not being taken seriously by medical staff.

It follows a campaign by the parents of Martha Mills, who died in 2021 after hospital doctors failed to admit her to intensive care. Martha, 13, died after developing sepsis while under the care of King’s College hospital NHS foundation trust in south London.

A coroner previously ruled that Martha, who sustained a pancreatic injury after falling from her bike while on a family holiday in Wales, and who would have been 16 last week, would probably have survived if doctors had identified the warning signs and transferred her to intensive care.

Martha’s mother, Merope Mills – an editor at the Guardian – has said she and her husband, Paul Laity, had raised concerns about Martha’s deteriorating health a number of times but these were not acted upon.

A similar measure enforced in Queensland in Australia has been shown to have saved lives.

More details soon …

The Guardian

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