Health Matters: Message in bottle idea for elderly

Bradford's elderly and vulnerable residents are being told that storing vital medical information in a bottle could save their lives. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with Keighley Lions and the Friends of the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) to launch a Message in the Bottle scheme aimed at protecting the city's most at-risk patients.

The plastic container, which will be given out free will allow the storage of important details like medical conditions, a GP's details or prescribed medication for the emergency services to access easily.

Experts suggest storing the labelled bottle in the fridge and sticking a green warning label on the fridge door to alert emergency services to the container's presence. BRI Matron, Dawn Parkes, said: "Sometimes it is the simple things that are the most effective. This emergency bottle is a terrific idea."

Dental spa scoops awards

Boutique dental spa, The Courtyard, is all smiles after being named one of the best practices in the country at the national Private Dentistry Awards. The Courtyard scooped three major accolades: Most Innovative Practice, Best Marketing and runner-up in the coveted Practice of the Year award.

Based in Huddersfield, The Courtyard prides itself on ensuring its clients enjoy a first class experience, offering five-star surroundings and a relaxing environment to help alleviate the stress which often accompanies a trip to the dentist – something that helped it beat strong competition from many leading London practices.

Practice owner Marcos White says: "To be judged one of the best two practices in the country is a real honour, and with the vast majority of shortlisted dentists being based in the capital, it's also great recognition for the region."

The Courtyard plan to roll out its award-winning model across Yorkshire in the near future, starting with a new North Leeds branch in Summer 2011.

Making a change for the better

More than 7,500 Leeds families have now pledged to live a healthier lifestyle by signing up to Change4Life. Change4Life is a campaign to help people who are less active or don't eat as well as they used to, get healthy by making small lifestyle changes.

Change4Life is led across the city by NHS Leeds and supported by Extended Services. Extended Services is a national programme that ensures families have equal access to a wide range of activities and support.