Call for Concern to launch on 1 July in support of Martha’s Rule

Our hospital is launching a Call for Concern service from Monday 1 July in support of Martha’s Rule.

Call for Concern is a patient safety service run by the Recognise and Respond Team (RRT)  – a team of nurses specialising in the care of very unwell patients and patients recovering from critical illness.

The service enables patients and their significant others to access support from the Recognise and Respond Team when they are concerned their own or their loved one’s condition is getting worse.

Martha’s Rule is named after Martha Mills, who died at a London hospital in 2021 after developing sepsis. Martha’s family’s concerns about her deteriorating condition were not responded to, and 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, NHS England 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.

Alanna Forrester, Recognise and Respond Team Clinical Nurse Lead, said the project builds on the success achieved by the team since 2021 where all adult in-patients have access to a rapid review from a critical care outreach team.

“We are aware that patients, their relatives, or carers are often the best people to identify the early signs of someone getting more unwell. This service aims to ensure that if there are ongoing concerns a patient is getting worse after having spoken to the ward nurse or doctor, they are able to get support as quickly as possible from a specialist team. This system empowers them to escalate these concerns, allowing the RRT to work alongside ward teams to provide the best possible care.”

“We encourage all our patients to discuss concerns with their ward nursing and medical teams, and we recognise the importance of listening to our patients. This service is an additional safety net which offers a dedicated number for families to speak directly with the RRT should they notice any changes in the patient’s condition they are concerned about.”

By implementing a Call for Concern service patients, relatives, carers, and staff will have 24/7 access to a dedicated team with specialised training in treating and recognising deteriorating patients.

The Call for Concern service is initially going to be rolled out for the patients, relatives and carers of all adult patients who have been admitted to the hospital. Over the next 12 months, the service will be expanded to cover paediatric, maternity, Emergency Department and out-patient services.

To make a Call for Concern from 1 July, call 01603 288249.

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