Message in

a Bottle

Our Message in a Bottle scheme means vital medical information is easily accessible at the most important times.

Inspired by the Ambulance Service, who ran a similar campaign, Message in a Bottle keeps key information in a known place in the homes of people who are frail, elderly or prone to hospital admission.


What is it?

The Message in a Bottle scheme is effective because of the important information that it holds.

Important medical information is kept in an easily identifiable bottle in a patient’s fridge.

Magnets are displayed on the front of the fridge itself and stickers on patient’s window to alert emergency services.

In 2015, we piloted the scheme with our Health Care Coordinators giving out bottles to patients during health care reviews.

How it works

It provides a non-verbal handover from the individual or any care providers to the emergency services.

Inside each bottle is a form to list a patient’s existing conditions and health problems, along with emergency contact details and distinguishing features to help identify the patients.

Relevant information such as Dementia or Asthma can be included, along with other important aspects of their medical history

Another important element is including the patient’s allergies and sensitivities, which in an emergency situation the patient, family or friends may not remember.

How it helps

Having this information quickly available supports emergency services in their work, and helps them provide the best possible emergency care.

This saves time at a point where every minute can make a huge, potentially life-saving difference to someone’s health.

While the benefit to staff attending a medical emergency are obvious, there are also clear benefits to the patient, their family and carers.

For patients, it provides the reassurance that they will get the best possible, personalised treatment at a critical time, that their family will be contacted, and their home and even pets will be thought of.

This peace of mind is shared by family and carers, who can take comfort in knowing their loved one is getting the care they need.

During our visits to patients within the community or supported living we provide them with a ‘Message in a Bottle’ to list their conditions, health problems, medication and emergency contact details.

Friends, families and carers can also add any information they want emergency services to be aware of.

It works especially well for those who live alone or who have an illness affecting their memory.

– Katie, Health Care Coordinator