The NHS England red bag initiative went live across central Lancashire on 1 February 2018 with red bags being rolled out to 114 care homes across Chorley, South Ribble and Greater Preston.
Poor communication between care homes and hospitals at the point of admission can be a source of delay, causing unnecessary admissions, unnecessary treatment and resulting in a poor quality experience for residents.
Once a decision has been made to dial 999/111 or a Health Care Professional has advised an admission that is the time all relevant documentation will be added to the red bag. The red bag will keep important information about a care home resident’s health in one place and will be easily accessible to ambulance and hospital staff in the event of a resident going into hospital.
It contains information about the resident’s general health, any existing medical conditions they have, medication they are taking along with highlighting the current presenting health concern.
This means that ambulance and hospital staff can determine the treatment a resident needs more effectively.
The initiative allows care homes easy access to information about the resident’s journey through hospital upon discharge, reducing delays in discharge and ensuring the care home has all the discharge information which is required to provide seamless ongoing care.
All care homes are being supported by the wider health economy to implement the scheme, and support materials are being shared to explain the initiative.
Jane Brennan, Lead Nurse at Chorley and South Ribble CCG and Greater Preston CCG, said:
“We’re very pleased to be rolling out this fantastic initiative with full support from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, North West Ambulance Service, Lancashire Care Foundation Trust and Lancashire County Council.
“The red bag is an invaluable tool for ensuring a care home resident’s hospital journey is made as efficient and effective as possible.
“It is a very useful resource for ambulance, hospital and care home staff and can provide patients with comfort knowing all relevant information about them to improve their experience is available in a timely manner.”