Gordon Conochie from the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads Care explains the carers emergency scheme, which gives peace of mind to carers. David, who cares for his partner Martin, carries a carers emergency card. It identifies him as a carer, and who he cares for, in case of an emergency. Please note that since this video was published the above organisations have become Carers Trust and Gordon Conochie is no longer working for the organisation.
Read the video transcript
The Carers Emergency Scheme was set up
to allow carers to have an Emergency Card
that is able to identify who they are and the person they’re caring for.
I care for my partner.
Martin and I have been together as a couple for 27 years.
He was diagnosed HIV positive in 1988.
At that time we were expecting his life span would be very short
because that’s how it was in 1988.
Say, for instance, a carer has left the person they’re caring for at home
and they’re maybe in a car accident
and the emergency services find this identity card.
The emergency services are able to phone a call centre
that’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week,
and quote the identification number of the carer.
This alerts the call centre to the fact
that the carer is unable to get back home
to support and look after the person they’re caring for.
Martin now has epilepsy, he has severe memory loss,
he has a considerable number of physical needs.
His liver’s affected and his kidneys are now affected.
He just basically needs a lot of help and support and encouragement.
So the call centre holds all the information
about next-of-kin, friends, family, neighbours, emergency contacts
so that they’re able to contact somebody to go round and visit the cared-for
to make sure that the cared-for is fine and being looked after.
For me, his safety,
his contentment and his happiness and wellbeing are my priorities.
This enables the carer to go out, have a break,
have the confidence to go shopping, go to the cinema, visit friends,
and we found that that is the first step that carers need to be able to take
to getting back into having a life of their own.
I know that if I go out and get knocked over by a bus and admitted to hospital,
when they go through my belongings they’ll find this card
which will tell them that somebody at home relies on me for care
and the Emergency Card will be activated.
Carers come in all kind of ages, all classes of society,
men, women, youngsters, teenagers, people in their 20s and 30s,
and this scheme is appropriate for any carer.
Because the Emergency Card is also logged in
through the same place as the community alarm system,
if necessary they hold keys to access the property to get in.
(Gordon) The Princess Royal Trust for Carers has a website
where you can put in your postcode and find your closest Carers Centre.
Carers Centres will be able to advise carers about the Emergency Card Scheme
and whether it operates in their own area.
Your local authority and social services will be able to do likewise
and there is a website, Carers Direct,
which also has a national helpline number
where you can find out about the services available in your area
and whether there is an Emergency Card Scheme in your own local area.
If there’s no Emergency Card Scheme in your area
then you have to try and replicate it.
Carry something in your wallet
stating that you’re a carer, who you care for, their name and address,
and if there’s an emergency, have an emergency contact.
The Emergency Card Scheme for me
provides me with something that’s really important and that’s peace of mind.