Help with emergency planning

The first step you should take when planning for an emergency should be to get an assessment of your needs. All carers have a legal right to an assessment carried out by the social services department of the local authority of the person you look after (or someone acting on its behalf). If you haven't had an assessment, ask for one: it can give you access to further help.

When you have the assessment, ensure that it covers what would happen in an emergency. This should come up automatically but it may not, so be prepared to ask. If you've already had a carer's assessment and planning for an emergency was not covered, you can ask the local authority to look at your assessment again and put this right.

You can find contact details for your local authority using the directory of local carers' services.

Carer's tip from Netbuddy

"It might be a good idea to choose someone from your family to be the person's guardian in case of death. You should ensure that person is familiar and keep them up-to-date with needs."

Who can help you make an emergency plan?

Every carer who has an assessment should be asked about emergencies and offered help to plan for them. Government guidance on the Carers and Disabled Children's Act 2000 clearly says that planning for unexpected events must be included in a carer's assessment.

If you provide care for someone with a mental health problem under the Care Programme Approach, there should be a written care plan that includes unexpected events. If you provide regular and substantial care for a person on the Care Programme Approach, you should have your own written care plan. This should include what action to take in specific, defined circumstances.

The social worker involved in your carer's assessment should be able to help you with planning, and they will probably be the first person you discuss this with.

To create an emergency plan that fits your needs, you will need to know:

  • the name, address and any other contact details of the person you look after
  • details of who you and the person you look after would like to be contacted in an emergency – this could be friends, family or professional people involved in the person's care
  • details of any medication the person is taking
  • details of any ongoing treatment they need

You can register with a carers emergency scheme in your area. If you do, a skilled worker trained to look at your individual situation may be able to help you make your emergency plans.

Watch the video below to see how a carer has benefitted from the peace of mind offered by a local carers emergency scheme.