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Support for carers

Sign up for a carer's emergency card

If you identify as a carer, caring for someone over the age of 18, it's important you get a carer's emergency card (it's free). This will ensure that they will be safe in the event something unexpected happens or you need to go to hospital.

How to create an emergency plan and get a carer's emergency card

An emergency plan is a document which allows you to provide key information about the person you support, to enable someone else to deliver the care you provide, when you are unable to in an emergency.

Ideally you need to provide details of 2 or more emergency contacts, who you trust to take care of your loved one, when you cannot. The plan is key to ensuring that whoever is called upon, can provide the support needed if you cannot fulfil your role.

In the event of an emergency, you may be able to organise support from family & friends. The process of completing an emergency plan, can assist you to clarify who can help, how long for etc. If this support was not available, you will be reassured to know the local authority can assist with providing advice and information, as well as arranging temporary emergency care if required.

Carers are now able to register their emergency plans with Norfolk County Council. This means they are accessible to adult social care if needed, even outside of normal working hours.

You can complete the carer's emergency plan form online also print a copy for your support network. Create your carer’s emergency plan online. This is a set of information that includes:

  • Details about the person you care for
  • The things you do to help them
  • Names of emergency contacts

If you're unable to fill in the online form or you do not have access to the internet, you can call us on 0344 800 8020 (textphone 0344 800 8011). Someone will be able to help you to complete it.

Alternatively, you can contact Carers Matter Norfolk on 0800 083 1148, for help to complete the plan.

To help you prepare for telephone support to complete the plan, here are the types of questions you will be asked:

  • Your details
  • The details of the person(s) you support, including any conditions they have
  • Information about the type and frequency of support you provide
  • Details of your two or more emergency contacts, including what support they are able to provide and whether this extends to supporting any pets you or your cared for have
  • How to gain access to the property of the person you support. For example, do they have a keysafe?
  • Additional information. For example, is there assistive technology in place?
  • Details of your emergency plan

Carers UK also provide advice and guidance on emergency planning, including things to consider when completing this.

Once completed, we'll send you a carer’s emergency card (the size of a small credit card), which you should carry with you at all times.

The card states that you’re a carer and that someone is relying on you to keep them safe and well. It also shows your Emergency Plan number and the emergency helpline number.

Updating your plan

It is your responsibility to keep the plan updated and notify Adult Social Care and any other parties you have shared the plan with of any changes e.g. medication, family illness or change in emergency contacts.

To amend your emergency plan, please complete the carer's emergency plan form with the up to date details. 

What happens in an emergency?

You, or someone on your behalf, should call the emergency helpline number and give the number of your emergency plan.

The emergency helpline service will contact your named emergency contacts. Your contacts can then help the person you care for.

The service will help even if they cannot reach your named contacts or you do not have any people who can help nearby. We'll provide an initial response, to allow enough time to plan what will need to happen next.

If the emergency continues for longer, then we may have a conversation about the ongoing needs of the person you are caring for.

The emergency services know what to do if they see your carer’s emergency card.

Carer's emergency card leaflet

You can download a PDF copy of the carer's emergency card leaflet for printing if you wish to share the information with someone.

Caring for someone at risk of getting lost

Thinking ahead and completing a ‘Herbert Protocol’ form can help you find someone should they disappear.

The form can be sent to the police to reduce the time taken in gathering vital information and support the investigation more quickly; safeguard them for more effectively and return them to safety before any harm can occur.

If you are a family carer, relative or care provider we advise you to the complete the form, send a copy to the police and store another one somewhere safe, in the event the person you care for was to go missing.

Message in a bottle

A message in a bottle is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their basic personal and medical details on a standard form and in a common location – the fridge!

It saves the emergency services valuable time if they need to enter a property in an emergency situation. Not only does it help to identify who you and your cared for are, it also identifies if you and/or your cared for have special medication or allergies. It is not only a potential lifesaver, but also it provides peace of mind to you, your friends and family by knowing that prompt medical treatment is provided and that the next of kin and emergency contacts are notified.

Who’s it for?

Anyone. Whilst it is focused on the more vulnerable people in a community, anyone can have an accident in the home, so this scheme can benefit anyone.

What does it cost?

When ordering one bottle the scheme is free to the public and is funded usually by your local Lions Club.

You may find the bottles displayed in your local GP’s surgery, local pharmacy or local Lions Club. If you have any difficulty locating a bottle please contact Lions Clubs Headquarters 0845 833 9502.

They have also created a handy message in a wallet, in case of emergency. You simply need to fill in the form with personal and medical details for you and your cared for, which can be kept in your wallet. Find out more about message in a wallet on the Lions website.

In Case of Emergency (ICE)

ICE is a simple and effective way to enable emergency staff to identify fast who needs to be contacted. You can store the word ICE in your mobile phone address book with the number of the person you’d like people to contact, for example your back up carer. If something happens to you, the emergency staff will know to look for the word ICE in your phone’s address book and call that person. If you have more than one emergency contact, list them as ICE1, ICE 2 etc.

Your phone may have a password protected lock preventing access to your address book but you can put ICE information on your phone’s lock screen.

Your phone instruction manual will have information about how to do this.

Carers Allowance and emergencies

You can continue to claim Carers Allowance for up to 12 weeks if you temporarily stop caring for someone if you ill or in hospital. Find out more about Carer's Allowance on

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