Red Bag scheme to be rolled out to Rochdale borough care homes

Date published: 16 September 2019

A new scheme designed to improve the way care is joined up for patients who are admitted into hospital from care homes is set to launch in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale this autumn. 

From October, all care homes in the Rochdale borough will be supplied with red bags which will accompany their residents when they go into hospital.

Each red bag will be packed with vital information about the resident’s health, plus personal belongings such as a change of clothes, glasses, hearing aid and dentures. This bag will travel with the resident and stay with them until they are discharged, ensuring that the hospital staff and resident have everything they need, making the handover smoother between care home, ambulance and hospital.

The Red Bag scheme has been jointly commissioned by NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG) and Rochdale Borough Council and its launch will coincide with International Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2019.

Councillor Iftikhar Ahmed, Rochdale Borough Council cabinet member for adult care, said: "The Red Bag scheme offers multiple benefits for care home residents who go into hospital, as well as the professionals involved in their care. The important information in the bag helps ambulance staff, doctors and nurses to treat patients quickly and effectively, with fewer phone calls and follow-ups made by the hospital staff to care homes looking for health information about the resident.

"It also clearly identifies a patient as being a care home resident, so hospital staff will have a better understanding of the patient’s care needs and they can discuss discharge arrangements with care home staff right from admission, so it may be possible for the patient to be discharged from the hospital sooner.”

Mike Jones, manager at Ashbourne Nursing Home, Norden said: “We expect that the red bags will make a huge difference to a resident’s care and experience when they have to go into hospital. Unfortunately all too often there can be miscommunication about patients when they transfer between care settings and also personal items can be misplaced.

"The Red Bag scheme has had proven success in other areas of the country and it will support effective professional relationships between care homes and hospital staff and ensure that our residents get the right care, in the right place at the right time.”

For more information about the Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Red Bag scheme, please contact Ayaiz Ahmed, Integrated Commissioning Support Manager via or 07795 618 527.

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