Getting help in an emergency

If you look after someone who cannot look after themselves without your support, you may be worried about what would happen if you were suddenly unable to help them.

About the Carer’s Emergency Card Scheme

The Carer’s Emergency Card Scheme provides peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, the person you care for will receive help and support whilst you're not there. The scheme helps you develop a plan for what might happen if you had an emergency and were unable to carry out your normal caring responsibilities.

The Carer’s Emergency Card is recognised by local health and emergency services, so if you aren’t able to call a friend of family member, your emergency plan will be activated.

How the scheme can help you

The scheme is a way of making sure there is emergency cover in place in case something happens to you unexpectedly. It will give you peace of mind to know there is back-up if something happens to you and gives you access to an emergency helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Carer’s Emergency Card is also recognised by some local services and businesses, and may give you access to local discounts.

How the scheme works

You will be given a card to carry in your purse or wallet which has a 24-hour contact telephone number and your own ID number, which will identify you as a registered member of the scheme and link to your plan of care for the person you look after.

You should try and carry the card with you at all times.

You may want to save the number on your mobile phone under ICE (in case of emergency). If you are unable to make the call to action your plan, someone coming to your aid will be able to do it for you.

In the event of an emergency or something happening that prevents you continuing to care for your loved one or friend, the service will make the arrangements detailed on your emergency plan. This could mean simply contacting a family member, neighbour or friend who can help support the person you care for.

We will also try to contact the people you nominated. If they are unable to help or you have not specified a nominated 'cover' person, we will arrange cover for up to 72 hours free of charge. During this time, further plans can be made for what happens next.

How much will it cost?

There is no cost to you for registering with the service. Emergency care provided under this scheme is free of charge up to 72 hours. After this period, the council's Adult Social Care Contributions Policy (pdf, 170 KB) will apply.

How to register

To join the Carer's Emergency Card Scheme, we need to understand your situation a little better. We will have a conversation with you to find out what support you currently provide and how your caring role affects you. We will do this over the phone or face-to-face. If you decide to register for the scheme, we will discuss your emergency arrangements and help you to develop a plan.

In order to develop an emergency plan, you will need:

  • The name, address and any other contact details of the person you look after
  • Who you and the person you look after would like to be contacted in an emergency (this might include friends, family or professionals)
  • Details of any medication the person you look after is taking
  • Details of any ongoing treatment they need

You can also register online in your own time.

If you already have an emergency card, you may want to consider re-registering if it was some time ago. This is especially important if your circumstances have changed since you last registered.

What discounts can I get if I register?

  • You may qualify for a Council Tax discount if you live with the person you care for
  • Many visitor attractions and leisure facilities will offer carers free entry if you are supporting the person you care for
  • If you or the person you care for are disabled, you may be able to get free or discounted vehicle tax and other financial help with your vehicle or transport
  • You can get a Concessionary Richmond Leisure card as a carer
  • You can get more exclusive deals from local and independent businesses with a Richmond Card
  • You may be eligible for a Carer Parking Permit
  • You can access exclusive offers, benefits and discounts from Carers Trust’s CarerSmart website
  • You can find more discounts online at Discounts for Carers, a national website for unpaid and paid carers

Contact

Adult Social Care and Public Health
Civic Centre
44 York Street
Twickenham
TW1 3BZ

Email: adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 8891 7971 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Updated: 10 February 2020