New ‘red bag’ scheme set to bring benefits for care home resident

1 MARCH 2017

Tower Hamlets Red Bag

Tower Hamlets Together is launching a brilliantly simple initiative to help people living in Tower Hamlets care homes receive quick and effective treatment should they need to go into hospital in an emergency.

The “red bag” keeps important information about a care home resident’s health in one place, making it easily accessible to ambulance and hospital staff. This includes standardised information about the resident’s general health, any existing medical conditions they have, medication they are taking, as well as highlighting the current health concern. This means that ambulance and hospital staff can more effectively determine the treatment required.

The “red bag” keeps important information about a care home resident’s health in one place, making it easily accessible to ambulance and hospital staff. This includes standardised information about the resident’s general health, any existing medical conditions they have, medication they are taking, as well as highlighting the current health concern. This means that ambulance and hospital staff can more effectively determine the treatment required.

It also has room for personal belongings such as clothes for day of discharge, glasses, hearing aid and dentures, and stays with the patient whilst they are in hospital. When they are ready to go home, a copy of their discharge summary (which details every aspect of the care they received in hospital) will be placed in the red bag so that care home staff have access to this important information when they arrive back home.

The resident may also be discharged quicker from hospital as the care home will have been able to get an understanding of their care needs from discussions with the hospital.

Georgina Birch, lead for Tower Hamlets Integrated Care at East London NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’ve taken learnings from Sutton Homes of Care who developed the concept of the red bag last year as part of the New Care Models Programme. We could see great potential for how the scheme could benefit care home residents here in Tower Hamlets so quickly got in touch with them to find out more.

“The red bag will greatly improve communication between the care home, ambulance service and hospital, so that everyone involved in caring for the patient during an emergency has access to vital information. We believe this simple approach will lead to great benefits for care home residents in the area.”

The red bag scheme in Tower Hamlets is set to launch on 6 March and will be used to support residents in two local care homes – Aspen Court and Hawthorne Green. If proven successful, it is intended for the scheme to be introduced in residential homes too.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Tower Hamlets Together is a partnership of local health and social care organisations including:

  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Tower Hamlets Borough Council
  • Tower Hamlets CCG
  • Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Service
  • Tower Hamlets GP Care Group

For more information, please visit www.towerhamletstogether.com