Glasgow care homes share red bag project results

Unscheduled admissions and transitions back into community settings made easier by new scheme

Thursday 23rd May 2019

Care homes in Glasgow have shared their experiences of a project that gives residents a red bag with all their essentials in it to smooth transitions between home and hospital.

First introduced in July 2018 to 22 participating care and residential homes, the simple initiative means each resident has their medication, medical records and personal items with them if they need to go to hospital unexpectedly.

Richard Groden, clinical director at Glasgow health and social care partnership, said: “Homes reported fewer occasions of paperwork going missing and said that the Red Bag made it easier to manage paperwork as everything can be stored safely and securely inside, and that overall the Red Bag Scheme had improved the management of unplanned admissions for both the resident and staff whenever they had occurred.”

Each red bag has information about medicines, medical conditions and current health concerns in it, as well as space for personal essentials.

If a resident must go to hospital, it stays with them at all times. When they’re discharged, a summary of their care in hospital for care home staff goes with them in the bag.

Gordon Johnston of Erskine Care Home said: “The scheme has helped improve communication between the care home and hospital staff and has supported the return of essential items such as personal property, medication and essential paperwork.”

Stephen FitzPatrick, assistant chief officer for older people’s services, added care homes were vital to achieving key aims such as bringing down delayed discharge and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.

Now the scheme is to be rolled out to other partnerships in the Greater Glasgow area.