Health is in the Red Bag in Barnsley

A new scheme in Barnsley care homes aims to help residents 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 and is easily accessible to ambulance and hospital staff. When a care home resident becomes unwell and is assessed as needing hospital care, care home staff place the resident’s standardised paperwork and their medication in the red bag. It may also be used to transfer patients’ essential belongings, such as glasses, hearing aids or dentures to ensure these items are present during their hospital stay.

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

The red bag stays with patients whilst they are in hospital. When they are ready to go home, a copy of their discharge summary (which details all 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 their residents arrive back home.

The red bag 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 from hospital sooner. Care homes will be involved in discussions with the hospital to understand residents’ care needs, meaning they are able to offer better support to the resident when they are discharged.

Brigid Reid, chief nurse at NHS Barnsley CCG, said: “The best thing about the red bag is that it puts the patients’ needs firsts. Handover between staff, including ambulance transfers, can be more effective and aims to improve the speed with which the patient gets the required treatment.” 

The red bag scheme will be launched in Barnsley later during April 2018. All Barnsley Care Homes have been provided with a number of red bags to use.


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