Planning for emergencies - back up scheme for carers

The Emergency Back-Up Scheme gives peace of mind to carers. The scheme provides home-based care at short notice for up to 48 hours if you cannot look after the person you care for.

How it works

The scheme is run by Carelink Plus, the 24-hour Community Alarm service.

To apply please download and complete an emergency backup plan application form (PDF 629KB) or emergency backup application form for Word 97-present (DOC 171KB).

As a carer you'll need to draw up and register an emergency plan giving details of people who may be able to provide care in your place.

If you don't have family or friends who would be able to assist at short notice then back-up services may be provided by the council.

You will then be given a card with the scheme phone number and a unique identification number to avoid any personal details appearing on the card.

What happens in an emergency

If something unplanned or unforeseen happens that prevents you providing care, putting the cared for person at risk, you call the number on the card. If you are unable to call the number, someone who is with you may call.

An operator will look up your emergency plan and make arrangements for replacement care.

What counts as an emergency

Things that count as an emergency which mean that you cannot look after the person you normally care for may include:

•    you are admitted to hospital
•    you have a family emergency, for example a close relative is taken ill
•    there is a risk to your employment
•    you have a funeral of a close friend or relative.


For carers of adults, any home care service provided through the Emergency Back-up Scheme is free for up to 48 hours once your plan has been agreed and registered. After 48 hours, a charge may be made to the person you care for depending on their financial circumstances.

For parent carers of disabled children, there is no charge for any service.


If you, or the person you're caring for, has a social worker or care manager, ask them to help you register with the Emergency Back-up Scheme. If you already receive support from any of the following organisations, ask them to help you:

•    The Carers Centre
     Call: 01273 746222

•    Crossroads Care
     Call: 01273 234021

•    Alzheimer's Society
     Call: 01273 726266

If you don't already receive support from these organisations, contact Access Point, the contact centre for Adult Social Care services.

Parent carers of disabled children may request assistance from Amaze.
Call: 01273 772289.

Download an application form for the emergency back-up plan (PDF 629KB) or emergency backup application form for Word 97-present (DOC 171KB).

Find out more

For further information about the back-up scheme for carers please read the guidance notes (PDF 86KB).

Contact us

If you would like a copy of the application form, or information about the carers’ back-up plan sent to you in the post, please contact Access Point the contact centre for Adult Social Care services.