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Red bag scheme

Launch of the Red Bag scheme to provide better care for people in care homes 

The Red Bags scheme launches as a pilot involving six care homes on 4 July. Care home residents at these six homes who need to go to hospital for emergency care will travel with a Red Bag containing all essential information about their medical background as well as essential personal items needed for a hospital stay. 

In the download section you will find an infographic describing the pathway, please share with GPs and practice staff. 

How does the Red Bag scheme work?

When a resident becomes unwell, the Care Home staff will assess their condition and liaise with the appropriate health or social care service.

If a decision is made that the resident does need to go to hospital, the Care Home staff will pack the resident’s Red Bag. This will include: 

Personal belongings:

  • Day of discharge clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Personal aids
  • Medication/TTAs

Standardised papers:

  • Older Persons Assessment Form
  • CARES Escalation Record
  • MAR Sheet
  • “This is Me” leaflet
  • Checklist

The Red Bag is then taken with the resident to the hospital by the ambulance crew and will be used by the hospital team to understand the resident’s medical background. Once a resident is ready to return home, the Red Bag will be repacked as part of the discharge planning process, and will include a summary of the discharge information. This means the Care Home staff will understand what medications have been sent home with the resident and why, and any post-discharge treatment plan. 

The Red Bag scheme aims to reduce the length of hospital stay for care home residents by improving communication and information sharing between the hospital and the person’s place of residence. It is a key part of the older people’s hospital transfer pathway, and will ensure residents receive safe and effective treatment if they need to go to hospital in an emergency. The Care Homes taking part in the pilot are:

  • Upminster Nursing Home in South Ockendon
  • Abbscross in Romford
  • Hanbury Court in Dagenham
  • Parkview in Dagenham
  • Abbey Care Complex in Newbury Park
  • Churchfields in South Woodford

Following a review of the pilot, we plan to roll the scheme out to all care homes in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge from 1 September 2018. 

The Red Bags scheme is a pathway designed to support care homes, ambulance service and local hospitals, to meet requirements of NICE guidelines (NG27) targeting transitions between inpatient hospital settings and community or care home settings for adults with social care needs. 

For more information about the Red Bag scheme, please contact Ette Chiwaka at BHR CCGs by email e.chiwaka@nhs.net or tel 020 3182 3091.

© 2022 NHS Havering Clinical Commissioning Group.