Cardiff and Vale Councils provide emergency card scheme for carers

Carers often worry what would happen if they were suddenly taken ill and unable to tell someone that they have a dependent relative at home with care needs.

With this in mind, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Councils have come together to launch a scheme to give peace of mind to people caring for a relative or friend, especially if they are the sole carer.


How does it work?

To register for the scheme, the carer needs to complete a registration form giving details of the person for whom they care, together with contact details of up to three people who could step in to take the carer’s place in an emergency. Details of agencies or organisations that the cared for person attends, or has services from, can also be recorded. This information is then passed onto the local Carers’ Officer who will issue the carer with an individually numbered emergency card and arrange for their details to be put on a database.

In an emergency, whoever finds the card in the carer’s purse or wallet (usually the emergency and health services) will call the number on the card, quoting the registration number, so that the emergency contacts can be contacted. The nominated people will provide interim support to the dependent relative, thus avoiding the risk of deterioration or crisis to the person.

Eligibility for the scheme

A carer can register for the card scheme if they look after a relative, friend or neighbour who would not be able to manage at home alone because of old age, physical and/or mental impairment (including dementia), long-term illness or drug/alcohol problems. The dependent person needs to be living in Cardiff or the Vale of Glamorgan to qualify for the scheme.

What if the carer doesn’t have anyone who could provide alternative care?

The carer can still register with the scheme. Information can either be provided to the emergency services or social care services, who will make arrangements in an emergency. This would also be the case if nominated people were not available.

What do the nominated people have to do?

Nominated people should know the person for whom care is provided, and how much help and support they need. They will have to give their permission to be contacted and have their records on the database. They also need to know how to get into the cared for person’s home and what they may need to do for them.

Nominated people should know which GP the cared for person is registered with. They should also have details of other family members they may need to contact in an emergency, or who to contact in social care services.

The registration form is also a basic contingency plan that will be kept on file. As well as this, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan Councils recommend that carers consider and complete a comprehensive contingency plan to accompany the registration form. This should cover most issues that need to be considered in an emergency.

All information provided by the carer will be treated in confidence and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Information will only be shared with other agencies with the carer’s consent, the consent of the cared for person, and any nominated people. 

How to apply for an emergency card

Carers can register for the scheme following a carer’s assessment. To ask for a carer’s assessment, carers should telephone the relevant number for their council:

Cardiff Council Contact & Assessment Team: (029) 2053 6444

Vale of Glamorgan CouncilContact OneVale: (01446) 700111.

If a carer has received a carer’s assessment in the last six months, they are advised to contact the person who completed the assessment.