Martha’s Rule Pilot Scheme Set to Commence at WWL

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is delighted to have been chosen by NHS England (NHSE) as one of the 143 NHS Trusts in England for a pilot scheme following the introduction of ‘Martha’s Rule’ back in April of this year.

In 2021, Martha Mills, a paediatric patient died after developing sepsis in hospital in England, following a pancreatic injury after falling off her bike. Martha’s family’s concerns about her deteriorating condition were not responded to promptly, and in 2023 a coroner ruled that Martha would probably have survived had she been moved to Intensive Care earlier.

In response to this and other cases related to the management of deterioration, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and NHSE committed to implement ‘Martha’s Rule’ to ensure the vitally important concerns of the patient and those who know the patient best are listened to and acted upon.

This has led to 143 Trusts being chosen to take part in a national pilot scheme which will see Trusts implement various different methods to carry out ‘Martha’s Rule’.

At WWL this will include the introduction of a ‘Martha’s Rule’ helpline that patients’ loved ones will be able to use should they wish to raise concerns in the event that the patient’s condition is believed to be deteriorating.

From there, any colleague who has been contacted through the helpline will be able to raise this with the Critical Care Outreach Team.

Dr Alison Quinn, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, will be leading on the project at WWL and speaking on the pilot scheme said: “It is great news that we have been chosen by NHSE as just one of five Greater Manchester Trusts to be taking part in this pilot scheme.

“This pilot will help us to implement the findings relating to ‘Martha’s Rule’ effectively and will provide better outcomes for our patients.

“I am looking forward to working with colleagues across the Trust on this project.”

Prof. Sanjay Arya, WWL’s Medical Director also spoke on the ‘Martha’s Rule’ pilot commenting: “I would like to thank all of my colleagues at WWL who have been involved in bringing the ‘Martha’s Rule’ pilot to the Trust.

“This is a very exciting pilot scheme to be a part of which will undoubtedly improve outcomes for our patients and will help save lives.

“I am really excited to see how the ‘Martha’s Rule’ pilot develops over the coming weeks and months.”