NHS Confederation responds to Merope Mills speaking about Martha's Rule at NHS ConfedExpo

Matthew Taylor reflects on Merope Mill's speaking on Martha's Rule at NHS Confed Expo.

13 June 2024

Responding to Merope Mills speaking about Martha's Rule at NHS ConfedExpo, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation said:

“Merope Mills has shown incredible perseverance in her campaigning for improvements to patient care after the sad death of her daughter.

“It is fantastic that 143 hospitals have already signed up to roll out Martha’s Rule to ensure patients and their families can seek a second opinion about their child’s care. Our members support the introduction of new ways to improve patient safety and save lives. Health leaders have welcomed the piloting of Martha’s Rule and we hope all organisations will sign up in time.

“But it shouldn’t have taken the death of a young girl to make these changes and it is disappointing that improvements in patient safety often come on the back of personal tragedies.

“However, if the scheme is to be extended, questions need to be answered about what resources hospitals and other providers will be given to ensure it can be delivered. But this roll out is part of an important shift where the NHS is looking to change the relationship between the NHS, clinicians, patients and their families.

"The future model of care is one where patients and their families are active partners in healthy communities, not just consumers of NHS services. Merope said today that patients are often at the bottom of the hierarchy of hospitals and have the least power – initiatives like this can help put more power back into patients’ hands.”