We have all read in the media recently about the sad and shocking story of Martha Mills. Martha was a 13-year-old girl who tragically died of sepsis at a London hospital in 2021.

Martha’s parents, Merope and Paul, said that they were not listened to when they expressed concern about Martha’s deterioration and called for changes to make it easier to ask for a second opinion.

At East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, we are committed to providing high quality care to our patients and the local community, but we also know that a patient’s loved ones can sometimes recognise something is wrong or changing before we do.

In December 2023, we launched a new 24/7 service at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage – Call 4 Concern.

Call 4 Concern ensures that patients, relatives, and carers can get a second opinion if they are concerned about a patient’s care when in hospital.

When someone uses Call 4 Concern, they’ll be asked to provide information which will be used by a separate team of clinicians who will then visit and assess the patient, discuss the concerns raised and provide a second opinion.

A note of the Call 4 Concern will be logged in the patient’s medical notes summarising the concern and the actions taken.

Patient safety is our top priority and we have strong systems in place to detect whether a patient is deteriorating in hospital.

The new Call 4 Concern service provides an extra layer of reassurance, supporting you to raise your concerns and seek a second opinion where needed.

If you have any questions about Call 4 Concern when visiting a loved one in hospital, please speak to a member of staff on the ward.

More information about Call 4 Concern can also be found on the Trust’s website: www.enherts-tr.nhs.uk/patient-visitors/call-4-concern.

If you remain unhappy with the care you or your loved one has received following a second opinion from the Call 4 Concern team, please contact my office by calling 01438 288840 (Monday-Friday).

Thank you for your continued support.