This month, the Trust has signed up to a new ‘red bag’ initiative designed to improve the transfer of patients from local care homes to hospital.

The scheme – funded by Wandsworth CCG – involves ‘red bags’ being given to care homes in the Wandsworth area.

The bags are designed to travel with care home residents in the event they need to be transferred to St George’s – either as an emergency, or for planned operations.

The bags carry medical records, medication, plus space for the patient’s personal belongings (such as clothes, books etc).

They also include a ‘This Is Me’ leaflet, which contains personal information unique to that resident – including likes and dislikes – which can be particularly important for those with dementia.

The new initiative was launched in June, and Wandsworth care homes took delivery of 90 bags this week.

Claire Kilburn, Primary Care Project Manager at Wandsworth CCG, said: “When a care home resident is admitted to hospital, the information in the red bag means that ambulance and St George’s staff can determine the resident’s treatment needs much more quickly and effectively.

“It has proved successful elsewhere, and we are confident it will make a difference to patients treated at St George’s as well.”

Avey Bhatia, Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at St George’s (pictured), also welcomed the move:

“We know that approximately 80% of patients transferred to us from care homes will have dementia, so the red bag initiative is a great way for our staff to make sure patients feel as comfortable as possible, and get the care and treatment they need. It has also proved elsewhere to reduce the amount of time patients spend in hospital, which is also a positive step.”