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Martha's Law To Be Introduced In NHS Hospitals From April 2024

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The Government has now confirmed its plans to back calls to roll out a system giving seriously ill patients access to a second opinion if their condition worsens. 

This has come about as a direct result of a campaign by the parents of Martha Mills, 13 who sadly died of sepsis, because of a failure to diagnose her condition and to deal with the same in a timely fashion.

Martha’s mother has confirmed she hopes that the new system will save lives and that something positive has come about as a result of what happened to her family.

In this case, Martha’s mother and her father had been ignored when they had raised concerns with the medical practitioners in charge of Martha about Martha’s care and for her to be treated as having a more serious condition than they were diagnosing.

The new rules provide that a second opinion should be sought from another senior doctor or nurse from elsewhere in the hospital who specialise in the care of patients who are deteriorating. 

The Medical Practitioners will also now have to formally record the family’s concerns and observations in relation to a patient’s condition or behaviour.

Briefly, the facts surrounding this case was that Martha was admitted to Kings College Hospital, South London in 2021 after having injured her pancreas slipping on to the handlebars of her bike.

She later developed sepsis from which she died. At the time her parents were unhappy with the doctors diagnosis of an infection and thought she had a more serious condition 

An Inquest found that better treatment would have resulted in her survival. 

At the time the Consultants in charge of her care had assumed that she was merely suffering from a normal infection.

It is to be hoped that the introduction of Martha’s Law will save lives potentially. 

It is proposed initially that the Scheme will be operated in two thirds of hospitals in the country who can apply to participate in the Scheme.

If you have been affected by any such issues  or would like a without obligation chat, please do not hesitate to contact our Specialist Senior Solicitor Parisa Costigan on 01983 213811, email