A new NHS initiative – the red bag scheme - is helping to improve the care and experience of care home residents who are admitted to hospital in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
When a resident becomes unwell and is assessed as needing hospital care, care home staff pack a dedicated red bag that includes the resident’s standardised paperwork and their medication, as well as clothes and other personal items such as glasses and dentures.
The red bag ensures that ambulance and hospital staff can quickly understand a resident’s condition and personal needs – as well as facilitate a smooth transfer when they are ready to be discharged from hospital.
Ellie Addison, Lead Nurse for Care Homes, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG said “We now have over 66 care homes signed up to the red bag scheme and continue to receive positive feedback about the benefits to patients and all those involved in their care.
“The red bag scheme is a really simple, patient focused concept. It's also another good example of our local health services working together effectively in partnership to improve our patients experience and quality of care.”
The red bag scheme has shown to reduce hospital delays, help stop patients losing personal items and improve communication between care home and hospital staff. After proving so successful in parts of our region, all areas of the country are being urged to adopt the scheme with the help of a new quick guide launched by NHS England today.
Anca Roman, Care Home manager at Brook House Care Home in Cambridge “The red bag scheme enables our staff to work more closely with our colleagues in the ambulance service and our local hospitals to ensure residents receive the right care as quickly as possible.
“As well as paperwork the bag also contains a resident’s personal belongings such as clothing, toiletries and personal aides. Going into hospital can be a stressful time for residents. Having their own belongings safely and securely with them at all times can give them comfort and reassurance.”
Danielle Morley, Paramedic for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said “Knowing that all of the relevant patient information and belongings have been packed and provided in the red bag enables us to focus on caring for the patient and transporting them to hospital as quick as possible. This makes the transfer of care so much easier and helps improve the patient experience.”