Message in a Bottle

Instructions on use

"Message in a Bottle" : Emergency Information Scheme

What is it? A plastic bottle, about 10cm x 5cm, containing personal and medical information for use by emergency services in the event of a call-out, particularly when the victim or partner has difficulty in communicating.

What is in it? An A4 form, filled in by the recipient with help, if necessary, from a relative, friend, carer or nurse. Personal details include name and date of birth, height and weight. Medical details include medication, allergies, and any visual or hearing problems. Also included is the name and telephone number of the doctor and details of two people who can be contacted in an emergency. Any person or pet relying on the recipient for daily care is also included on the A4 form.

Where is it kept? In the fridge door. Practically all homes have a fridge, and it will usually be in the kitchen. Two Green Cross stickers are provided, one to be stuck on the door of the fridge, the other to be fixed inside the entrance door but not visible from outside. These stickers will be noticed by emergency services and they will then gain immediate access to the vital information in the bottle.

Who gets it? Initially, the bottles will be made available to elderly people living on their own, but this should not be regarded as exclusive, and anyone who is vulnerable can be included in the scheme. People caring for another in the household should be considered as their incapacity could result in two people being under threat.

How do they get it? Distribution points will be set up with the co-operation of various sources including pharmacies, surgeries, day centres, domiciliary care providers, stroke clubs, sheltered accommodation schemes and Neighbourhood Watch schemes. The bottles are supplied free of charge by the Rotary Club of Llandaff.

Who uses it? Any emergency attender. All emergency services are aware of and support the scheme - the Ambulance Service, Fire and Rescue Service, Police Service and Social Services. If necessary the bottle and contents can be taken to an A & E department along with the patient.