Dying well at home: the case for integrated working

Practice example 6: Message in a Bottle, East Midlands

Originally devised by the Lions Club, Message in a Bottle is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their basic personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – the fridge. 

It saves the emergency services valuable time if they need to enter a property in an emergency situation as they can identify quickly whether a person needs special medication or has allergies.

What’s in the bottle? There is an information form with the person’s name, medicines, allergies and relatives’ contact details. In this project, it is suggested that the information in the bottle includes a signed living will, advanced statements or advanced decisions documentation, if that is applicable.

The person simply fills in the forms and puts them in the bottle in the fridge. To highlight that they are part of the scheme, one green sticker should be stuck on the fridge door and another on the inside of the house door.

Any bottle with a wide neck or a plastic container is suitable. Lions Clubs bottles are often available from GP surgeries, pharmacies and local Lions Clubs or can be ordered from the Lions Clubs’ UK headquarters on 0845 833 9502. If only one bottle is ordered, it is free.

Jo Baggott, Strategic Communications Manager, NHS Midlands and East.


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