AIREDALE Hospital will implement Martha's Rule later this year, the NHS trust has confirmed.

The Steeton hospital is amongst 143 NHS sites nationally introducing the scheme, which will give patients and families access to a rapid review if they are worried about a condition getting worse.

The process, which formalises access to a critical care team for a second opinion, will be available 24/7 and will be advertised throughout participating hospitals.

Under the move, an urgent clinical review will be carried out by a different team in the hospital if a patient’s condition is rapidly worsening and they or their family feels they're not getting the care needed.

The move follows the death of 13-year-old Martha Mills in 2021.

She developed sepsis while under the care of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in south London.

A coroner ruled she would most likely have survived if doctors had identified the warning signs of her rapidly deteriorating condition and transferred her to intensive care earlier.

Martha’s parents, Merope Mills and her husband Paul Laity, raised concerns about Martha’s health a number of times.

They have since campaigned for Martha’s Rule to be introduced to give families more say.

Merope and Paul said: "We are pleased at the roll-out of Martha’s Rule and that the need for it has been widely recognised.

"It will save lives and encourage better, more open communication on hospital wards."

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, says: "Rolling out Martha’s Rule to over 140 NHS sites in this first phase will represent one of the most important changes to patient care in recent years, and we're pleased to have seen such interest from hospitals across the country – all thanks to the moving and dedicated campaigning by Martha’s parents, Merope and Paul.

"That is why this is such an important milestone, with the NHS outlining the 143 sites where this major initiative will be rolled out later this year, allowing staff, patients and families to immediately raise concerns and bring about an escalation in care in an easily recognisable and fast way."

Julie O’Riordan, deputy medical director at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, says: "Martha’s Rule is an important change for patient care, and we are pleased to be taking it forward here at Airedale.

"We will now work with NHS England, in tandem with other trusts in our region, to implement it later this year."