When you are responsible for caring for another person, you may worry about what would happen to them if for some reason you were unable to continue looking after them, or if something else went wrong with their care arrangements.

The following are just some examples of what might go wrong:

  • a disruption or breakdown in the existing care arrangements
  • because you have been taken ill and cannot provide your normal level of support
  • when the person you look after falls ill, has been assaulted or in an accident, and needs more support than you can offer (including when the person is emotionally hurt or upset rather than physically injured)
  • to deal with an incident involving a child

Emergency cover for carers (Carer’s Emergency Card)
Carer’s Emergency Cover plans (also known as Carer’s Continuity plans and the Carer’s Emergency Card Scheme) put backup care plans in place so that you can be reassured that alternative arrangements are available in an emergency.

To get a Carer’s Emergency Cover plan, you will first have to complete a carer's assessment.

When you complete your carer’s assessment and your Emergency Cover Plan, you will be asked about the usual daily routine of the person you care for, the support you provide, and the contact details of two people who can step into your shoes if needed.

If necessary, care funded by the council can be provided for up to 72 hours by agreed emergency care providers. All this information forms part of an emergency care plan to make sure the needs of the person you usually look after are met in your absence.

Once the emergency care plan is set up, you'll be given a credit card-sized card to keep in your wallet or purse. It will have your name, a reference number and a 24 hour emergency phone number for you to call if you need to put the emergency plan into action. All you need to do is call the emergency phone number and the arrangements will be taken care of.

Other emergency covering care arrangements
Even if you haven’t had a carer’s assessment already you can still access emergency support in the event of an unplanned emergency.

In the event of an unforeseen emergency, carers can contact: 020 8770 5000 or 020 8770 6080 or minicom (for hearing impaired people) 020 8770 5178.

The automated message may tell you that the office is closed but there are staff there to take your call. Please hold on until they answer.

This is the council's single contact number, which will put you in touch with our First Contact Service or Out of hours social services duty team who can either put into action your pre-arranged emergency plan if you have had a carer's assessment or make alternative arrangements through an:


  • emergency home-based respite service
  • emergency residential or nursing care home placement

The staff will take a message for the social work team. They will establish which is the appropriate team to deal with the problem. They will call the duty social worker, who will call you back and give you advice on how to deal with the problem.

Other local covering care services
Eldercare offer an Emergency Response service to members of its pendant alarm service, which involves emergency responders coming to the homes of individuals in an emergency within 20 minutes of an alert, and providing initial practical support/informing family and other support services of an emergency. To find out more about this service, contact Eldercare on 0345 603 457.

Other information and advice
Sutton Carers Centre provides information, advice and support services for adult carers, parent carers, family carers, young carers and carers of people with mental health conditions. Find out more about the support the Carers Centre can offer you by getting in touch: 020 8296 5611, enquiries@suttoncarerscentre.org.

Alzheimer’s Society Sutton provides information, advice and support for carers and people with dementia. Find out more about the support Alzheimer’s Society Sutton can offer you by getting in touch: 020 8770 1875

The Carers Forum meets quarterly at Sutton Civic Offices, and is an opportunity for carers to discuss the latest developments in carer support services in Sutton, and meet other unpaid carers from across the borough. Contact Sutton Carers Centre for information on future forum dates, and to book your place at the forum: 020 8296 5611, enquiries@suttoncarerscentre.org.

Community Drug Service for South London (CDSSL) provides support for family members and carers of substance misusers. Find out more about the support CDSSL can offer you by getting in touch: 020 8773 1881, info@cdssl.org.

Sutton Centre for Independent Living (SCILL) provides information and advice for carers and the people they care for. Find out more about the support SCILL can offer you by getting in touch: 020 8770 4065, information@scill.org.uk.

Sutton Citizens Advice Bureaux provides information and advice around finances (including benefits, debt and other financial matters). Find out more about the support the Sutton CAB can offer you by getting in touch: 020 8405 3552, 

Sutton Mental Health Foundation provides information, advice and support for people with mental health conditions and their carers. Find out more about the support SCILL can offer you by getting in touch using the details below: Tel: 020 8770 0172, admin@smhf.org.uk.

There is also a regular programme of support groups and meetings for carers in Sutton – take a look at our page on local support groups for carers to find out more.



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