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Premier IT Blog

  • Writer's pictureEmma Gaulter

Martha’s Rule and the impact on complex rostering

Martha's rule and the impact on complex rostering

In 2021 a beautiful young woman lost her life to sepsis at Kings College Hospital in London, her name was Martha and she was only 13 years old.

The reason for her death was due to a failure to escalate her to intensive care after her family’s concerns about her deteriorating condition were not responded to promptly. This lead her parents to campaign for a change in the way patients and their relative’s concerns are dealt with and how Critical Care can be accessed in hospital settings. This is now known as ‘Martha’s Rule’.

 

Martha’s rule will allow patients or their families to trigger an urgent clinical review from a different team in the hospital if the patient’s condition is rapidly worsening and they feel they are not getting the care they need. This escalation process will be available 24/7 to patients, families and NHS staff, and will be advertised throughout hospitals, making it quickly and easily accessible.

This will be introduced in April to 100 acute trusts initially with further roll-out subject to government funding.

 

As we celebrate and applaud any change that will potentially save lives we still must consider how any change of this immensity will be managed smoothly within trusts that are already understaffed and financially burdened. This rule, although excellent for patient care, will inevitably put extra strain on clinical teams and the workforce leads managing them.

 

Rostering software systems are pivotal in supporting NHS managers to manage a highly complex clinical workforce. Not only do they save time, increase productivity and efficiency and improve patient safety they can also streamline communication between employees, therefore reducing communication errors that can arise from manual documentation of tasks.

If you consider Premier IT’s rostering system Zebra, not only will the system manage all of the above, there are also intrinsically integrated tools to streamline the extra support that clinical areas may need to deploy clinical staff, last minute, in ‘real time’.

 

Using a tool like our patient acuity tool Panda helps clinicians make staffing decisions as and when they are needed. Straightforward graphics and easy to navigate management screens clearly display where staff can be re-deployed all in one place whilst also using the notification functionality to communicate to all staff via e-mail and the app Zebra Connect.

Location based rostering is another excellent tool that can be utilised within Zebra to ensure clinical teams can be moved from one area to another with clear visibility of where they are working at any one time. Clear locations and colour coordinated shift graphics ensure workforce managers have an overarching view of all staff deployments.

 

Rostering systems like Zebra have already proven they are invaluable to the future of the NHS and the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan but now as other elements, like Martha’s Rule, are introduced, they have never been more crucial.

If you would like a call or meeting to discuss your rostering needs or a demo of our rostering system Zebra please contact Emma Gaulter at egaulter@premierit.com

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