'RED BAG SCHEME' making big difference to care home residents

The new 'Red Bag Scheme' is making a massive difference to care home residents.

The scheme, also called the ‘hospital transfer pathway’, is a small change having a big impact by personalising hospital care for care home residents around the country. It has also been embraced by Southend University Hospital.

The simple scheme improves the ambulance service handover to the hospital. It will also make A&E assessments easier for staff and patients.

When a care home resident becomes unwell or requires a hospital visit, the care home staff will pack the red bag with essential patient notes, medication, personal items such as glasses and hearing aids.

Southend-on-Sea has three times the number of people living in care homes than the national average. Due to the complex and long-term nature of the health issues of many care home residents, there are often frequent and sometimes sudden admissions to hospital.

Initially the scheme will be being rolled out to all care homes in Southend, followed by care homes in the Castle Point and Rochford area.

James Currell, General Manager for Medical Specialities at Southend University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"This is a great example of how local health and social care services can work together in partnership to improve patient care.

"We know that it can be confusing and very stressful for care home residents when they need to be transferred to hospital, particularly in an emergency, but this simple patient centred initiative will enhance patients' experiences by ensuring a smoother transfer in and out of hospital.

"We also welcome the positive impact it will have for patient safety by allowing health care professionals to immediately identify the patient as a care home resident. It provides us with the information we need to provide individualised care, which is particularly important for patients with memory problems or longer term dementia. The Red Bag also makes it simpler to keep track of the patients' essential belongings and other items including personal information."

Care Minister Caroline Dinenage was at the parliamentary launch of the red bag:

The 'Red Bag Scheme' is being well received across the board: