New bag scheme to build on ‘personalised’ care and reduce hospital stays

The “red bag” initiative is being rolled out across Cornwall to help care home residents receive quick and effective transfer and treatment should they need to go into hospital. Introducing this scheme could see hospital stays cut by up to four days for some patients at RCHT.
The ‘Red Bag Scheme’ has been launched in a bid to save time and create better communication between hospital staff and care homes. It supports care homes, the ambulance service and the local hospital with transitions between such settings.

Already, they have been handed out to Care Homes across Cornwall, and those behind the project say it will allow nurses easy access to key health information of patients coming into hospital. The Trusted Assessor Nurses said: “What this is trying to achieve is to stop those numerous phone calls from different professionals to the care homes during a patient’s stay. Care homes could be called up to four or five times unnecessarily requesting the same information, whether that be from the doctor, nursing or therapy staff or ourselves, just to get the baseline information. By having all of the clinical information available it will help to ensure the patient receives safe, coordinated and efficient care.”

The Red bag will contain standardised paperwork, a transfer checklist between care settings, day clothes, night wear, toiletry bag and personal belongings as well as detailed information highlighting the patients normal presentation i.e.) mobility, medication

The Trusted Assessor nurses Cheryl Dance, Anne-Marie Buckler and Karen Power say,

‘It’s about personalised, patient-centred care. The real benefits for the patients are that they will have personal belongings with them at all times and hospital staff will know some basic information, such as what they like to be called. Just by having this red bag, we can save patients up to four days in hospital, as it aids communication.’

Each red bag will then follow the patient on their journey through the hospital and onto their next place of care or return home. It is an invaluable tool for ensuring a care home resident’s hospital journey is made as efficient and effective as possible.’

The red bags are also a useful resource for ambulance, hospital and care home staff. They can provide patients with the comfort of knowing all relevant information about them, to improve their experience, is available in a timely manner.

Melissa Norman the manager at Porthgwara Nursing home says,

“The red bag has definitely helped make the patient journey smoother. When I came in to see one of our residents the red bag had followed them from the Emergency Department through to the wards, and all the paperwork was kept together and the checklist was completed, with all the paperwork and belongings returned to us.”

Added on February 1, 2019, in News - General News