Red Bag

An initiative helping improve communication between care homes and hospitals has been adopted by three Caring Homes’ services.

Belmont House, Garth House and Home of Compassion in Surrey have taken up the scheme with all Caring Homes’ services scheduled to sign on to the initiative by 2020.

The Red Bag contains standardised information about the resident’s general health, any existing medical conditions they have, medication they are taking, as well as highlighting current health concerns.  It also has room for personal belongings (such as clothes for day of discharge, glasses, hearing aid, dentures etc) and it stays with the patient whilst they are in hospital.

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This means that ambulance and hospital staff can determine the treatment a resident needs, quickly and more effectively.

It also clearly identifies a patient as being a care home resident and this means that it may be possible for the patient to be discharged sooner, because the care home has been involved in discussions with the hospital and has an understanding of the residents’ care needs so they are able to support the resident when they are discharged.

NHS Sutton clinical commissioning group (CCG) found that residents with a Red Bag spent an average of four days less in hospital than other people between transferred between services.

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The author Lee Peart

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