A new initiative is set to ensure that care home residents in Wolverhampton receive safe and effective support if they need to go into hospital in an emergency.
It will see residents given a red "transfer bag" containing paperwork, medication and personal belongings which will be with them from the moment they leave their care home until the time they return from hospital.
Based on a successful scheme in the London borough of Sutton, it was introduced to address gaps in the care and support network – both clinical and socially – for poorly residents who needed to go into hospital.
They included paperwork not being standardised; belongings and medications being misplaced; poor communication between care homes and hospitals; and residents having to stay in hospital for longer than necessary.
Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: "We are delighted to be introducing this important initiative. Having to go into hospital can be traumatic at the best of times, but particularly so for people who are elderly or vulnerable.
“Improving the care pathway by implementing a special transfer bag which will stay with the resident as they move to and from hospital will benefit not only them, but also the health and social care staff who are supporting them.
"The bag will include medication personal belongings, standardised paperwork, personal and clinical information about the resident and assist ambulance and hospital staff. This will help make the resident’s admission and journey to and from hospital as comfortable as possible.
"All of this will enable better communication between care homes and hospitals at all points on the resident's journey, ultimately improving patient safety and reducing the time needed to be spent in hospital."
The City of Wolverhampton Council is working with Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and local care homes on the project, which is set to be implemented this autumn.
Manjeet Garcha, Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group’s Executive Director Nursing and Quality, said: "The red bag initiative is an innovative example of service redesign, which will help ensure residents living in care homes receive safe and effective treatment should they need to go into hospital in an emergency."