Joint statement on Martha's Rule from the GMC, NMC, and CQC

A joint statement from the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, and Care Quality Commission, on our support for the implementation of Martha’s Rule by NHS England.

As regulators, we are committed to ensuring the highest standards of care. We support the implementation of Martha’s Rule to empower patients, people who use services and their families and carers to seek an urgent review if their health or condition deteriorates. Ensuring their interests are at the heart of decision-making is key to safe, effective, and kind care.

Martha’s Rule reinforces the fundamental principles of listening to people who use health and care services and their families, and acting on what they say. Actively involving people in their care decisions and addressing their concerns promptly is critical to safety. It supports care that is person-centred, responsive, and aligned with high standards of professional practice.

We welcome the way that Martha’s Rule emphasises effective teamwork, mutual respect, and open communication. The emphasis on professionals working together encourages active listening, promotes person-centred care and supports a culture of learning and improvement.

Martha’s Rule aligns with the NMC’s The Code and the GMC’s Good medical practice, which set out the standards of care and behaviour expected of all the professions we regulate. These emphasise the importance of people being at the centre of services, listening and communication, and effective multidisciplinary working. It also supports our ambition for open cultures. In ensuring that families are at the heart of care and recognising the importance of listening and acting in response to their concerns, Martha’s Rule also reflects the vital role that people’s experiences have in CQC’s assessment of quality and safety. 

We look forward to working together, along with professionals, people they care for and their families and carers, to ensure the successful implementation and oversight of Martha’s Rule.

Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar, NMC

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive and Registrar, GMC

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive, CQC