Message in a bottle


Message in a Bottle helps older and vulnerable people keep their personal and medical information somewhere it can easily be found in an emergency.


A simple information sheet with vital contact and medication details is completed and stored in a special bottle which is kept in the fridge.  A large green sticker is put on the bottle, the fridge door and the inside of the front door to let the emergency services know that the system is being used.


This gives the emergency services and medical staff easy access to vital information, allowing quicker and more accurate decisions about what action may need to be taken immediately.  This could save a life in an emergency at home.


The scheme was originally set up by the NHS and its partners, but is now run by the Caterham, Oxted & Godstone Lions working in partnership with Tandridge District Council.


Bottles and leaflets can be collected across the district from GP surgeries, pharmacies, libraries, banks and other locations including the Council Offices, Oxted and the Douglas Brunton Centre, Caterham.


For details of the scheme or to find where you can pick up a bottle phone Caterham, Oxted & Godstone Lions on 0845 8334993.


Winter 2016 Your Health Matters

For an update on the local health care scene for everyone interested in health in East Surrey click here


Do you know anyone who may need extra support during a power cut?

• Customers who are dependent on medical equipment 
• Customers who are chronically ill 
• Customers with a disability 
• Customers who are visually impaired or blind 
• Customers who are hearing impaired or deaf 
• Elderly customers 
• A nursing or residential home 
• Customers with young babies in household 

If so, you can sign up to a free register which will give: 

 A priority phone number that you can call 24 hours a day 
 A welcome pack with useful advice about preparing for a power cut 
 Regular text message or phone updates during a power cut 
 Extra support from the British Red Cross 

Click here for more information (please note the service is only available in certain postcodes) 


Are you one of Surrey’s ‘hidden’ carers, and juggling more than one caring role?

There are many ‘hidden’ carers of all ages in Surrey – that is, people who are providing unpaid care to a partner, family member or friend who is frail, ill or has a disability, but do not realise this makes them a carer.

And perhaps the care they give is for more than one person. For example, they might care for an elderly or frail parent or relative, while also helping out with their grandchildren and trying to balance all this with work and deadlines.

Having multiple caring responsibilities can really take its toll, leaving little time for eating and sleeping well, or for anything else outside of caring such as time for a partner or friends, and having a big impact on overall health and wellbeing as a result.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, take a look at these helpful information resources:

  • For information about local carers support organisations where you live, go to
  • Call the Adult Social Care Helpline on 0300 200 1005 to find out about the carers’ assessment and carers’ breaks
  • Book a carers’ assessment
  • Tell your GP about your caring role
  • Listen to carers world radio for the latest topics and debate
  • Access the council’s free digital offering to carers
  • If you’re feeling more pressurised than usual, why not meet with your manager and let them know? By being proactive you will feel more in control and this will help you to feel calmer right away; also check your organisation or company’s flexible working policy
  • Read the Carers’ pages on the Surrey County Council website and follow signposting to carers’ support organisations
  • Register for an Emergency Carers’ Card Service
  • Complete this year’s State of Caring Survey by Carers UK. Last year 5,000 carers completed the survey to help make carers’ lives better.

Click here to read an update from Surrey Health and Wellbeing Board 


Need Health Help Now? Innovative NHS web app now live in East Surrey 

NHS East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a web app, Health Help Now, to help people find the right treatment for health problems, especially when they are not sure what to do or who to contact.

The web app, formerly known as Right Care Right Now, has been used effectively by residents in Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex, Kent and Medway since 2013 and is now available in East Surrey. So wherever you are in these areas, you can get information on health services that are closest to you.

As valued members of our Patient Reference Group we would very much like your help with testing out the web app and to hear your feedback. You can give your feedback directly through Health Help Now or by contacting our communications team, whose email addresses are at the end of this message.

We are also pleased to share a communications toolkit that we hope you will use to support the campaign promotion. The toolkit includes things like an article for newsletters, suggested Tweets, and visual components like web banners, posters and flyers. Not everything in the toolkit will be relevant for you but we hope that the selection of materials means that you have a good choice of items to share with your networks.

Health Help Now was developed with input from GPs, hospital consultants, paramedics and other health professionals and has useful information and advice for people of every age. By using the free web app, people should be able to find the service that can help them, whether they are at home or out and about.

Health Help Now lists GP practices, minor injury units, walk-in centres, dentists, optometrists and pharmacists. It includes support phone numbers for mental health worries and contains information on common health conditions and web links to reliable resources.

It can be confusing to know where to get help. People who are unsure often just go to A&E, even if they only have a minor injury or ailment. Health Help Now can help these people to get the right treatment without having to wait in a busy A&E department.

That will help them and, by keeping A&E free for those who really need it, it will also help the NHS focus lifesaving care on the most seriously ill and injured patients. Please remember that if you don’t have internet access and need medical help fast but it isn’t a 999 emergency, dial NHS 111.

Go online and try the web app at and save it to your device so you have it at hand when you need it.

If you have any questions about Health Help Now, the communications toolkit or would like would like to receive hard copies of marketing materials, please contact the communications team Jo Flint ( and Lucy Ing (


Protecting people with learning disabilities against flu

1. Why are people with learning disabilities being offered the flu vaccine? 
- Flu can be a very unpleasant illness causing fever, stuffy nose, dry
cough, sore throat, aching muscles and joints and extreme
tiredness often last for several days. Some people can also get a
very high fever, sometimes without the usual flu symptoms, and
may need to go to hospital for treatment. People with learning
difficulties are offered a free flu vaccination because they may be
more susceptible to the effects of flu and at increased risk of developing complications
including bronchitis, pneumonia, and a painful ear infection that may be severe.
2. What are the benefits of the vaccine?
- Having a vaccine will help protect people from what can be a very nasty
illness and reduce the chance of family, friends and carers getting it as
3. How will the vaccine be given?
- The flu vaccination is given as an injection in the arm.
4. Who will give me the flu vaccination?
- The flu vaccine is free on the NHS and it will be given at your GP
surgery, most probably by the nurse. Some pharmacies in your local
area may also be able to vaccinate you.
5. The best time to have a flu vaccination?
- The best time to have your flu vaccination is in the autumn but you can
get it later in the winter if they are flu stocks left.
6. Are they any side effects of the vaccine?
- These may be a mild fever or muscles aches for a few days after the jab.
7. What will happen next?
- You need to contact your GP surgery to arrange a vaccination or ask
your local pharmacy if they are vaccinating.
For more information go to


Health commissioners and East Surrey Hospital work together to tackle busy winter period

Dr Joe McGilligan, local GP and Chair of NHS East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), who pay for health services in the region, and Michael Wilson, Chief Executive of the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, who run East Surrey Hospital, are appealing to residents with non life-threatening conditions and minor ailments to get advice first by calling the NHS 111 service.

Local people can get quick healthcare advice on how to deal with illness or injury by dialling 111, when it’s not a 999 emergency. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and is free from landlines and mobiles. Callers can also get information on local health services and advice on illnesses and injuries.

NHS 111 is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who needs urgent health advice by dialling 1-1-1. If you have difficulties communicating or hearing, you can use the NHS 111 service through a textphone by calling 18001 111.

Patients can access a range of local services, including:

-       Pharmacies – for advice on common health problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, and how to use your medicines

-       GPs – for a wide range of health advice and some minor surgery

-       Minor Injuries Unit at Caterham Dene Hospital for people aged 18 and over, open from 9am to 8pm, 7 days a week for:

  • Cuts and grazes
  • Sprains and strains
  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Bites and stings
  • Infected wounds
  • Eye problems, such as infections or scratches
  • Sports injuries
  • Minor burns and scalds

-       Mental health – contact your GP first during normal office hours. There is a dedicated weekend and evening Crisis Helpline available for use in times of distress. Call 0300 456 83 24 or if you have difficulties communicating or hearing text 07717 98 90 24


Information for GPs and Tandridge Health and Well Being website

NHS East Surrey CCG would like to improve the GP practices referral process to local Voluntary Community and Faith Sector organisations.  GPs see many patients that do not need medication but do need support in other areas that could be given by the voluntary sector.

TVSC is working in partnership with NHS East Surrey CCG to provide them with up to date information on voluntary and community groups in Tandridge that can be uploaded onto their system for easy access by GPs and also onto the ESCCGs website.

Details will also be included on the forthcoming Tandridge Health and Well Being website as Tandridge District Council are also supporting this project. 

If you would like your organisation’s details to be made available to GPs for patient referral and also to be included on the ESCCG website please click here to download the form.  Completed forms should be emailed to


Disability Equipment Service – New National website launched

Social Information on Disability is delighted to announce the launch of a new Disability Equipment Service website for buying or selling disability equipment, often at a reduced price or for a donation to charity.  Click here to visit the website



Click on the names below to read the latest newsletter of some of our local health organisations:

First Community Health & Care

East Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group

Surrey Coalition of Disabled People

First Steps

East Surrey Carers

Surrey Choices

Surrey & Sussex GP Newsletter


Updates and New Initiatives

A New Website has been launched:

This new website has been designed specifically to help people who are considering further independence. It has been primarily designed to be used by people who are thinking about living more independently, who have a physical, sensory or cognitive impairment. For further information or flyers please contact the project team at SID:-

Email –

Telephone - 01372 362043