The Red Bag is coming to Warwickshire

Work is underway to put a national NHS scheme into practice in Warwickshire, which will help to provide quick, safe and well-organised handovers of care when residents move between a care home and a clinical setting, such as a hospital.

The Red Bag scheme has already been implemented in other parts of the country, receiving positive feedback from care home providers, paramedics and hospital staff.

As well as improving communication between health staff and care home providers, it has been seen to contribute to reduction in the amount of time that care home residents spend in hospital.

In Sutton, where the scheme was first introduced, for those homes using the Red Bag the length of stay was 4.4 days fewer for residents from nursing homes and 4.1 days fewer for those from residential homes.

How does the Red Bag work?

When a care home resident becomes unwell and is admitted, care home staff pack a dedicated ‘Red Bag’ for them, containing all the things they need for their stay.

This includes all the correct paperwork, any specialist medications they’ll need while in hospital, plus personal belongings such as their glasses, dentures, hearing aid and a change of clothes.

The Red Bag stays with the resident throughout their hospital stay and then comes back to the care home with them when they are discharged, including everything they went in with, plus their discharge information.

The benefits of the Red Bag include a smoother admission and discharge process, better person-centred care, and less risk of harm from the deconditioning associated with long hospital stays.

It also saves time for all those providing care to the person, as all of their vital standardised information is readily available in one eye-catching place.

The Red Bag scheme is funded by the Better Care Fund in Warwickshire and the target is to launch it across the Older People care home market in March. Providers will be hearing more very soon. For more information contact Jon Crowley 01926 742175.

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