Vulnerable people in Glasgow East are set to receive peace of mind thanks to a new scheme that will ensure medical and care staff have instant access to vital personal information.
The Message in a Bottle project will see a person's essential details stored in a plastic container, which is then placed in their fridge. Stickers are then strategically placed on the fridge and other doors to alert any member of the emergency services to the fact the person has a Message in a Bottle.
Information on medical conditions and medication will be kept in the container as well as details on next-of-kin and emergency contacts to help care and medical staff make quick and well-informed decisions.
A first for Glasgow, the project has already successfully run in other parts of Scotland. A total of 10,000 containers will be circulated throughout the East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership after the Community Health Shop, a voluntary organisation in Easterhouse, initiated the project. It is possible that other parts of the city may follow suit.
Irene MacPhail, Project Coordinator for the Community Health Shop, said: - "Message in a Bottle is a very simple idea but having someone's personal information immediately to hand could make an enormous difference in an emergency. The contents of the bottle will allow an early assessment of the patients immediate medical condition and give quick indication of the treatment."
Greater Easterhouse Development Company, Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Fire Brigade and the Scottish Ambulance Service are also fully supportive of ‘Message in a Bottle', which will be managed through the Community Health Shop.
Councillor James Coleman, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow East CHCP, welcomed ‘Message in a Bottle' as a potential lifesaver.
He said: - "This will give peace of mind to those who may be living on their own or feel vulnerable due to ill-health. Having crucial information readily available will take some of the pressure off the emergency services and help them do their jobs more effectively. It's an excellent initiative for East Glasgow CHCP and again shows what's possible when different agencies work together."
‘Message in a Bottle' packs will be provided free of charge to anyone living in the East CHCP area and can be uplifted from a range of distribution points, including health centres, housing associations and selected community venues.
Ann Robertson, who has already signed up for the scheme, added, "This is a brilliant idea. It's very reassuring to know that if something ever does go wrong medics and the police will know exactly how to handle the situation."
Notes to Editors
‘Message in a Bottle' will be launched at 10.30am on Thursday, August 31 at 96 Pendeen Road, Barlanark, Glasgow, the home of service user Ann Robertson.
She will be available for photographs and Councillor Jim will attend along with Irene MacPhail from the Community Health Shop and representatives from Strathclyde Police, Scottish Ambulance Service and Scottish Fire Brigade.
The East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership is a partnership between Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde that delivers health and social care at a local level. There are five such partnerships in Glasgow.
Strathclyde Police has contributed £5000 to Message in a Bottle and it is anticipated that the scheme will cost £20,000 to implement.
The Community Health Shop at 327-329 Halhill Road provides a wide range of services to the Barlanark, Easthall and Wellhouse and the Greater Easterhouse Community since 1999. These services include everything from counselling services and parenting groups to smoking cessation and cookery classes.
Inverness and Clydebank were the first areas in Scotland to introduce Message in a Bottle concept.