Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has launched the ‘red bag’ initiative to help improve the experience for patients coming to hospital from care homes. The scheme was developed in Sutton and the roll out across South London is being supported by the South London Health Innovation Network. The scheme is being adopted by the Trust in partnership with Hounslow and Richmond Community Health, Richmond CCG, West Middlesex Hospital, London Ambulance Service and care homes in Richmond.
When a patient at a care home needs to go into hospital, staff pack the red bag to travel with them in the ambulance. The bag contains personal belongings such toiletries and clothes, medication, and paperwork about the patient, which stays with them at all times. The bag will stay with them throughout their hospital stay and go back with them when they are discharged.
Duncan Burton, Director of Nursing and Patient Experience at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to launch the ‘red bag’ initiative at Kingston Hospital and I know it will make a huge difference to patients coming to hospital from care homes. The scheme will be a great help to our staff, as it will ensure patients’ information is accessible on arrival and save time when they are being transferred between care settings. We are very excited to be taking part in this simple yet highly impactful scheme.”
The ‘red bag’ initiative has also been shown to reduce the length of time patients from care homes spend in hospital. The scheme will be rolled out in the coming months to care homes in Kingston, Richmond and other neighbouring boroughs.