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Message in a bottle

Message in a bottle

The potentially life-saving 'Message in a bottle' scheme has been launched in the region by County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, with the support of the Darlington Lions Club and Parkinson's UK.

The 'Message in a bottle' scheme is a simple but effective idea designed to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details on a standard form, in a common location, and where they can be found in an emergency - the fridge.

With the plastic bottle kept in the fridge, the emergency services will be able to find it in the event of being called to a home. The use of the scheme is indicated by a clear label displayed on the inside of the front door or in the main entrance to the home, and another on the door of the fridge.

Louise Cochrane, movement disorder specialist nurse with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "We're delighted to be launching this scheme with the support of the Darlington Lions Club and Parkinson's UK. As a minimum, it will save the emergency services valuable time identifying the individual and their emergency contacts. By detailing whether you have special medication or allergies or not, it is a potential lifesaver and provides peace of mind to users and their friends and families."

More than 5 million 'Message in a bottle' kits have been distributed across the UK by Lions Clubs to people with conditions such as diabetes, allergies, disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. The bottles are supplied free of charge thanks to generous donations from the public and businesses.

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham