Carers’ Message in a Bottle” Initiative

Health leaders in West Yorkshire are encouraging unpaid carers to make contingency plans for the person they look after in the event of an emergency.

To mark Carers Week (6-12 June 2022) West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust (YAS) are teaming up to raise vital awareness of the ‘Message in a Bottle’ initiative.

‘Message in a Bottle’ is a simple and effective way for people to share their basic personal and medical details, including contingency planning for caring responsibilities, in an emergency. This written information is kept in a bottle in a common location in the home – the fridge.

The message to all carers across West Yorkshire is to think about a contingency plan so that the person they care for is supported at the earliest opportunity and the carer has peace of mind that arrangements are in place should they become unwell or be involved in an   accident or medical emergency.

Local carer organisations across Bradford District and Craven; Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield District are supporting carers to have their own ‘Message in a Bottle’.

The idea was developed by Lions Club International and the ambulance, police, fire, and social services all support this life-saving initiative by knowing to look for essential medical information in the fridge when they see a Message in a Bottle sticker in someone’s home. The scheme has been developed further so carers can also include information about what should happen to the person they look after in the event of the carer suddenly becoming ill or injured.