Martha's Rule Statement

21 Feb 2024

The Intensive Care Society, National Outreach Forum (NoRF), Critical Care National Nurse Network (CC3N) respond to Martha’s Rule.

The National Outreach Forum (NoRF), Critical Care National Nurse Network leads (CC3N) and Intensive Care Society welcomes and supports Martha’s Rule which facilitates rapid access to review by the critical care outreach team in response to concerns by patients and those closest to them. Placing patient and family voices at the centre of care is pivotal to promoting patient safety and trust.

Timely access to critical care saves lives, and all interventions which facilitate the early detection of deteriorating patients have the potential to benefit patient safety, outcomes and experience.

Successful implementation of Martha’s Rule depends upon a properly resourced critical care outreach service. NHSE announced 100 hospitals with 24/7 outreach services have the ability to implement the Rule in April 2024, which highlights the significant under-resourcing of many critical care services across the UK.

It is paramount that adequate and urgent investment is made to upscale outreach services in every hospital. Health inequalities across the UK remain a significant issue and we MUST not let Martha’s Rule become another postcode lottery. Every person should be treated equally.

We welcome rapid action to introduce Martha’s Rule, and we look forward to the benefits to patient care being realised. This will not be possible unless additional funding is provided to safely deliver this initiative.

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