PEOPLE living in Barnsley care homes will receive quick and effective treatment under a new scheme should they need to go to 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 needs hospital care, staff place their paperwork and medication in the red bag.

It may also be used to transfer patients’ essential belongings, such as glasses, hearing aids or dentures to ensure they have these during their hospital stay.
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The Red Bag contains 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 ambulance and hospital staff can determine the treatment a resident needs more effectively.

The Red Bag stays with patients while they are in hospital. When they are ready to go home, details all of the care they received in hospital will be placed in the red bag so care home staff have access to the information when their residents arrive back.

The Red Bag also identifies a patient as being a care home resident meaning it may be possible for the patient to be discharged from hospital sooner.

Brigid Reid, chief nurse at Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The best thing about the Red Bag is that it puts the patients’ needs firsts. Because the paperwork is standardised for every patient, the handover between staff, including ambulance transfers, can be more effective and aims to improve the speed with which the patient gets the required treatment, which has benefits for both patient safety and experience.”

Organisations including the CCG, Barnsley Hospital, South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Yorkshire Ambulance Service have worked closely together in implementing the national Red Bag scheme which is being launched this month. All Barnsley care homes have been provided with a number of red bags to use.