Help for you 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.

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.

How can the scheme help?

The scheme, which is run by the Council, 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, 7 days a week. 

How does it work?

  • When you register, you are asked to nominate two people such as a friend, family member, or someone from a local organisation, who can take over from you in an emergency. Don't worry you can still join the Scheme even if you can't think of anyone.
  • 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.
  • When a call is made in an emergency, Careline will try to contact the two people you nominated. If they are unable to help or you have not specified a nominated ‘cover’ person, either Careline will arrange cover, or they will contact our Emergency Duty Team.
  • 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 48 hours. This can be extended for up to 96 hours if it runs into a weekend. 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 Contributions Policy will apply. 

How to register

In order to join the Carer's Emergency Card Scheme, you need to have a carer's assessment. You will be given an application form during your assessment. 


What else can I do?

You can also get a datalink canister, which will contain essential information for emergency services or care agencies, if you suffer an accident or sudden illness.


Useful contacts: 

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971

If you care for someone you may worry what would happen if you had an accident or an illness, the Carer's Emergency Card scheme is a great way of giving you some peace of mind.