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Emergency Carers Card Scheme

Please note that the Emergency Carers Card has now been recommissioned and a new service will begin on the 1st July 2021, any new applications received will be put on hold until after this date.

Would you like a safety net to support you in your caring role?

Do you worry about what would happen to the person you care for if you were prevented from getting home because of an unforeseen emergency?

  • Do you avoid going to places because of fear that something may happen to you and the person you care for would suffer?
  • If an unplanned incident should happen who would know your contingency plan?

The Emergency Carer's Card Scheme is designed to provide you with peace of mind that your contingency plans be accessible to all should any unplanned emergency occur to you.

Who can join the scheme?

The scheme is open to all carers aged over 18 years who are caring for a person who is also over the age of 18 years who lives in Cornwall.

What is the Emergency Carer's Card Scheme?

The Emergency Carer's Card Scheme is for carers who are concerned about what would happen if they were taken ill, in an accident or if another emergency stopped them from getting to the person they care for. The scheme gives peace of mind that, should something happen to prevent you from providing care, the person you care for will not be left without support. This enables the person you care for to receive the care they need whilst remaining in their own home until the emergency is over or until other arrangements can be made.

How does the scheme work?

You provide details, using the application form, of two people who can provide care to your loved one, should anything happen to you. In the event that these people cannot be contacted or are unable to assist, adult social care will provide care for free for the first 24 hours. 

What happens in an emergency?

If something happens to prevent you from caring, you will be able to access the scheme by calling the phone number(s) on the card. Once through to the operator, they will ask you for your unique ID number which is also on the card. Once the operator has your ID number, they will be able to bring up your emergency contacts and action some care. This could be as simple as contacting a named friend or relative, right through to arranging professional help.

What constitutes an emergency?

An emergency is an unplanned event that prevents you from providing care.

Under the scheme, anything that stops you from carrying out your normal caring role will constitute an emergency. Within the scheme, an emergency can be a minor emergency, such as your car breaking down, being stuck in very bad traffic or an emergency doctors or dentist appointment. Or it could be a larger emergency such as being involved in an accident, suddenly being admitted to hospital, a close relative being taken ill, a real risk to employment on a particular occasion. It is not planned respite of any kind or any pre-planned appointment cover.

This scheme is intended for unplanned emergencies only. Any misuse of the scheme could result in the cancellation of the service.

What is the card like?

The card is designed to fit in a wallet, purse or pocket, enabling it to be carried at all times. The card will include the phone number to call in the event of an emergency and a unique ID number.

When can I use it?

24 hours a day the scheme can be accessed, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in the event of an emergency.

Who to contact

Contact name
Family Information Service
Contact position
Emergency Carers Card Administrator
0800 587 8191
Parent organisation
Kernow Carers Service

Where to go

Cornwall Council
Family Information Service
39 Penwinnick Road
St Austell
PL25 5DR

Other details


This is a free service.
Do you offer a free or reduced rate to carers?


Age ranges
From 18 years
Referral required
Referral details

You can:

  • Apply online by joining Cornwall's Carers Register, once your registration is complete, you will be able to access the form. 

    Signing up to the register will also entitle you to the quarterly newsletter, which keeps you in the loop about what is happening for carers in cornwall. 

  • Download the form from this page, fill it in and post it to us at
    Family Information Service 
    39 Penwinnick Road,
    Saint Austell
    PL25 5DW

  • Download the form from this page, fill it in and email it to us at

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