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Health minister Brian Gibbons has attended an event to see how a unique scheme is helping to support some of the mo...
Health minister Brian Gibbons has attended an event to see how a unique scheme is helping to support some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

The Message in a Bottle initiative has been developed and promoted in Wales over the past two years by a range of local neighbourhood watch schemes, Lions and Rotary clubs.

The scheme starts with the homeowner or older person completing a short form that contains key health and social care information. The information includes details of their doctor, key phone numbers and addresses, current medication and allergies. They are then asked to place the form in a container that has an easily recognisable green cross symbol on the front and to place it in the fridge. A sticker with the same green cross on it is attached to the front door and the outside of the fridge to let paramedic, ambulance and social services know that the homeowner uses Message in a Bottle.

Dr Gibbons said: 'This is a wonderful scheme that is really helping vulnerable people in our community. The scheme is now so successful that organisers have distributed more than 40,000 bottles and information packs throughout Wales.

'I am pleased to see that the Welsh Ambulance Trust strongly supports this system and now hold a database of all the schemes currently operating in Wales. 'Message in a Bottle' is helping to provide vital information to ambulance drivers, paramedics and social services who are called to attend to someone who is confused or possibly unconscious. Knowing what medication someone is taking; the nature of any illness or disability or who to contact in an emergency can be critical and time saving in getting the right help and assistance to people in a crisis or an emergency. By placing the bottle in a common place like the fridge we are helping emergency service staff to carry out their role as quickly as possible.

'This scheme is a positive example of communities working in real partnership alongside statutory services to support vulnerable and older people living alone. I am sure that the scheme's success will continue to help many people across Wales.'

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