More care homes in West Norfolk, Fenland and South Lincolnshire are being encouraged to join a scheme which is enhancing emergency care for elderly patients.
The Red Bag scheme was introduced by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital earlier this year to ensure that emergency clinicians have a full medical history and medications for seriously unwell older patients who are rushed to the A&E department.
A total of 26 care homes have already signed up to the scheme but the hospital is hoping to attract others to take part.
Frailty Matron Pamela Chapman says the scheme is helping both patients and the clinicians.
She said: “The Red Bags are helping us to provide a holistic package of care for seriously ill people the moment they arrive through the hospital’s front door to discharge.
“I believe this scheme is helping with initial clinical assessments along with ensuring that patients have a continuing good experience while at The QEH.
“We would like to encourage more homes to take up the Red Bag scheme.”
Lyncroft Care Home in Wisbech is one of the organisations, which has the Red Bags.
Home Manager Jan Davison, who is also a Red Bag Champion, said: “We wanted to be involved with the Red Bag Scheme to help our residents who do not have capacity.
“Our teams have a really good system going to ensure the bags are packed accordingly with all the items the resident needs along with the detailed documentation.
“I would recommend the Red Bags to other care home as it ensures that Hospital has all the right information about that individual.”
The Red Bag initiative has been developed from a successful scheme run from the Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group in Surrey by the Hospital’s Transformation Team.
The Red Bag contains standardized paper work detailing information about the patient’s general standard of health along with medical history.
This information allows doctors to make informed and quick clinical decisions along with providing smooth and efficient handovers from ambulance crews.
The Red Bags will remain with the patient during their stay at the hospital and also contain personal belongings.
Senior Project Manager AJ Weir is one of the people behind the scheme. She said: “We are really pleased with the success of the Red Bags as it has helped the Trust, our Care Home partners but most importantly the patients.
“Having all of their belongings, in one place, provides a sense of comfort to the patients plus it makes life easier for the clinicians to have all the necessary information in one place.
“We feel the scheme has helped improve the flow of the hospital along with reducing the length of stay.”
If you would like to take part in the scheme please contact Senior Project Manager AJ Weir on 01553 214779.
Pictured is Senior Project Manager AJ Weir is encouraging more Care Homes in West Norfolk, Fenland and Lincolnshire to sign up to the Red Bag scheme (Picture: Victoria Fear)