Middlesbrough FC coach Jonathan Woodgate paid a visit to a Teesside care home this week to meet residents benefitting from a new NHS scheme.
The Nunthorpe-born former Boro player, now part of Tony Pulis’ first team coaching staff at the Riverside Stadium, called into Fountains Court Care Home in Coulby Newham to show his support for the recently-launched NHS red bag scheme which improves communications between hospitals and care homes.
Woodgate and the Boro team will be out and about in the region this week for their yearly Christmas visits to Teesside’s hospitals and hospices.
But this new NHS red bag initiative aims to shorten hospital stays by ensuring doctors, nurses and carers are all on the same page.
Residential home staff will prepare a dedicated ‘red bag’ containing standardised information about a resident should they need hospital care.
This information includes the resident’s general health, any existing medical conditions they have, medication they are taking, as well as highlighting the current health concern.
This means that ambulance and hospital staff are properly prepared and can determine the treatment a resident needs more effectively.
Jonathan Woodgate said: “It was my pleasure to be able to come out and meet some of our long-term supporters and the dedicated staff at Fountains Court.
“It’s a time of year for family so it’s good to see the red bag scheme helping residents like those here today avoid staying in hospital longer than they need to.”
Care home owner Angela Dixon said: “It was great to have Jonathan visit the home. Some of our residents have been Boro fans for more than 70 years and still go to matches now!
“The red bag scheme has improved relationships between hospital and care home because key documents haven’t gone missing. It has created a cycle of seamless care.”
Gordon Bentley, Senior Adult Safeguarding Officer at NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The red bag scheme is something we are fully supportive of, as it improves communication between care homes and hospitals for individual patients, primarily resulting in improved patient outcomes but also saving time, resources and duplication.
“There are some patients who will not be able to fully keep track of all the medication they are taking, this scheme will significantly reduce any problems surrounding this.
“The scheme will help to avoid unnecessary re-admission or reduce the length of stay in hospital, which is especially important at this time of year.”
Each care home across the Middlesbrough Council and Redcar and Cleveland area has red bags available for immediate use.
The bag doesn’t have room to store additional items like clothing, shoes, incontinence products and toiletries but may have space for small items.
For more information on the scheme, visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/urgent-emergency-care/hospital-to-home/red-bag/