Care homes in North Devon have teamed up with NHS staff for a new scheme designed to make hospital admissions easier.

Sarah Winfield-Davies, care homes team lead, Angela Walter, Admiral Nurse, and Emma Townsend, quality improvement admin apprentice.Sarah Winfield-Davies, care homes team lead, Angela Walter, Admiral Nurse, and Emma Townsend, quality improvement admin apprentice.

The red bag scheme has been taken up by seven care homes: Castle House, Fremington Manor, Hatchmoor, Kenwith Castle, Oaklands, Primrose House and Tyspane.

If a care home resident becomes unwell and needs to be admitted to hospital, staff will pack a dedicated red bag that includes their medication, clothes, toiletries as well as specially designed paperwork with information about their health and personal items.

The bag travels with the resident to ensure a smooth handover between the care home, ambulance and hospital.

The care homes have been supported by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT), which plans to work with other care homes and nursing homes in the near future.

NDHT Admiral nurse Angela Walter is leading the project. She said: "This is a simple idea but it makes a huge difference to our patients.

"We are providing a couple of red bags for each residential home or nursing home that wishes to be part of this scheme and we can help them arrange additional bags.

"I'm looking forward to visiting more care homes soon to talk about the red bag scheme, but if anyone wants to get started straightaway, or if you want to arrange a bag for a loved one who is a resident, please get in touch."