Local Care Home hails Red Bags a success

Bury CCG

A local care home is seeing the benefit from a scheme that launched last year to ensure care home residents receive quick, personalised and effective treatment should they be admitted to hospital in an emergency.

The Red Bag scheme launched in Bury in October 2018.  The scheme sees care homes for older adults in Bury provide their residents with a Red Bag which contains a patient passport holding important information about the individual’s health, medication and personal decisions.

The bag has space to store personal belongings such as glasses, slippers, hearing aids and dentures – items which are often easily lost during an emergency admission – along with room for clothes to come home in after their hospital stay.

When someone is admitted to hospital in an emergency, the Red Bag, which is already packed and ready to go, is handed to the ambulance crew and travels with the patient to hospital where it is then handed to hospital staff. By having important information in one place, health staff are able to make informed decisions about the patient’s care and treatment and avoid unnecessary delays.

Hollybank Care Home in Radcliffe is just one of the local care homes that has been using the Red Bags and is really seeing the benefit of this simple but innovative scheme.

Maureen Cooper, Home Manager for Hollybank Care Home in Radcliffe, said:  “We have been using the Red Bags at Hollybank for a number of months now and it’s working really well.  The Red Bag acts as an important connection between the home and the hospital whilst the individual is travelling between the two, every resident that has needed to go to hospital has had their Red Bag with them and all of their important information goes in it.

“It’s great to see the scheme gaining lots of momentum, paramedics are proactively asking for the Red Bag when they arrive at the home and the bag travels with the patient to hospital.  Because all of the important information about the patient such as their medical conditions, medicine requirements, personal preferences and decisions are in one place, no time is wasted in providing quick, personalised and effective care. Importantly, they are able to return home without any delays with their patient passport updated relating to their admission.”

Catherine Jackson, Executive Nurse for NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) added:  “It’s really good to see that this scheme which grew from a very simple idea is making a genuine difference to care home residents in Bury.  Our local care homes have been embracing this new approach and Hollybank’s positive experience will be being felt right across the borough, it’s clearly having a positive impact.  The scheme is also helping to improve communications between care home teams, the ambulance service and local hospitals and ensures that staff working on the front line have the information they need to provide the best possible care every time.”