Four hospitals in Sussex will test and roll out Martha's Rule which gives patients and their families the right to a second opinion.

The NHS has announced 143 hospitals across the country will implement the process by March 2025. Conquest Hospital in Hastings, Eastbourne District General Hospital, Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath are among them.

Martha's Rule is named after Martha Mills who died aged 13 in 2021. She developed sepsis while under the care of King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 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 Paul Laity, raised concerns about Martha's health a number of times but these were brushed aside.

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

The new rule will aim to provide an easy way for patients and families to seek an urgent 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.

Merope and Paul said: "We are pleased that the roll-out of Martha's Rule is off to a flying start and that the need for it has been so widely recognised.

“It will save lives and encourage better, more open, communication on hospital wards, so that patients feel they are listened to, and partners in their healthcare."

South East regional medical director Vaughan Lewis said: “This is a key milestone and will see this major patient safety initiative being rolled out across the whole of the South East region later this year, enabling staff, patients and families to raise their concerns in order to ensure patient deterioration is managed promptly.

"While the need for escalation of care will hopefully only be needed in a limited number of cases, this three-step safety net has the opportunity to transform patient care and safety and provide prompt intervention in the event of patient deterioration.”