Red Bags project ‘is improving elderly care’, says King’s Lynn hospital

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Lynn hospital officials are urging care home managers to help them expand an initiative designed to improve emergency care for their elderly residents.

The Red Bag initiative, which is intended to ensure medics have easy access to a patient’s medical history when they attend hospital, was launched at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital earlier this year.

So far, 26 homes across West Norfolk and surrounding districts have signed up and officials want more to join them.

Senior project manager AJ Weir said: “We are really pleased with the success of the Red Bags as it has helped the trust and 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.”

Developed from a scheme adopted by health officials in Surrey, the bags contain standardised paper work about the patient’s general standard of health and medical history.

That aims to allow doctors to make fast and informed clinical decisions and ease the handover process from ambulance crews. The bags also remain with the patient throughout their hospital stay.

Jan Davison, manager of the Lyncroft care home in Wisbech, which is one of the participating homes, said the scheme is particularly important for residents with limited capacity.

She said: “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 bags.”

Any homes interested in taking part in the programme are asked to contact AJ Weir on 01553 214779.