Tracy Wharvell is
the Development Director at the National Care Association and a Residential
Forum member. Her career in social care began over thirty years ago
as a practitioner providing social care, but now she asks how well NHS
initiatives are meeting the aim of
supporting care homes.
Have you been asked?
There are significant amounts of funding coming
from health to support residential care homes to support improvements, in order
that care homes can help the NHS to reduce admissions and improve discharges
from hospitals. For example, support from sustainable transformation
partnership (STP), NHS England’s Enhanced Support for Care Homes, and the
recent £2 billion announced by the government.
What they all have in common is they are using initiatives from the
highly acclaimed vanguards, which found improvements through several
initiatives in locations where funds and energy were focused. Was it the
initiative, or the focus on cultural change, and development of partnerships
The Red Bag scheme from Sutton is one of these initiatives, which
appears to be rapidly spreading across the country. The Red Bag approach
has been designed to keep the care home resident’s belongings (clothes,
glasses, medication and notes) with them as they transfer from the care home,
to the ambulance to the hospital and back again. Great I hear all managers
saying, this will save me time tracking down lost property. Sounds good
doesn’t it, that is until your resident is on a ward with many other red bag
holders. When the personalised approach of having a distinguishable bag will be
easier to track down. A thought at this point; How will it feel for the
resident being labelled as a care home resident by the red bag?
Will this service really help care homes to improve their service or is
it a visual gimmick, for the NHS that puts another complicated process into an
already complicated system. Given the cost of rolling out this initiative
across the country, as a Residential Care Home Manager would you have chosen
this initiative if you had the choice or would you chosen a commitment from
health to respect the residents belongs (at no cost), the money to be spent on
training, or better access to clinicians, or something else.
What would be your choice? Let the Residential Forum know http://www.residentialforum.com/
and feel free to comment through this blog site.
Most of all make sure you engage with your Clinical Commissioning Group
about initiatives and ideas that would support both your care home service as
well as the NHS.