Message in a bottle is sending out an SOS

A new scheme in Bradford aims to offer a lifeline to the city's most vulnerable people.

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 the Message in a Bottle scheme.

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Patients who are deemed to be at-risk are being offered a free plastic container where they can store important details such as medical conditions, GPs' information or prescribed medication and which can easily be accessed by the emergency services.

Chief nurse Sally Ferguson said the scheme means if a person is found unconscious in an emergency, the police or paramedics can consult the bottle for aid advice and take it with them to the hospital.

She said: "The Message in a Bottle scheme is simple, but incredibly effective, and could prove invaluable in case of an emergency.

"Having quick access to essential personal information and relative contact details can make a real difference for us and the other emergency services."

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 which could have a massive impact upon people's lives.

"The Message in a Bottle scheme gives emergency services a single reference point for essential information about people who may suffer from conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy or a chronic allergy."

The emergency containers were supplied by Keighley Lions and purchased for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by the Friends of the BRI.