An innovative new project has been launched to help care home residents when they are admitted to hospital.
Residents of all 43 nursing and residential homes in West Cheshire will now be given a Red Bag Passport when they are admitted to the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The bag will be used to safely store personal items such as glasses, hearing aids and mobile phones as well as important medication and patient notes such as the new patient passport and “This is Me” booklet.
Alison Lee, the chief executive of NHS West Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, described the Red Bag Passport as “a beautifully simple step to help improve patient care”.
“Local patients tell us that compassionate, personalised care is high on everyone’s priority list,” she said. “Enabling care home residents to keep all of their patient notes and sentimental personal items in one place when they are admitted to hospital is such a simple idea – but one which will make a real difference.
“Not only will the Red Bag Passport help to improve care home residents’ experience of hospital care, it will also support the hospital’s assessment, treatment and care planning – as well as helping to support a timely discharge.”
The Red Bag Passport scheme is designed to support timely communication between hospital and care home staff at all stages of a patient’s journey.
Care home staff will be contacted by the hospital by the second day of an admission and a patient journey checklist will be signed between each patient transfer – including between different hospital wards.
The Red Bag Passport will remain with patients throughout their hospital stay and will then return to the care home with them once they are discharged.
Countess of Chester Hospital emergency department matron, Jo Windsor, said: “The Red Bag Passport will enable staff in the emergency department to access all the information they need at a glance.
“It’s such a simple idea, but creates true continuity of care. Notes can be added to the Red Bags as patients move through the hospital, including information for nursing home staff once the patient is discharged.
“Coming to hospital can be scary for anyone – especially for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. This should make a real difference.”