What If something happens to your carer, which means they are unable to look after you?

The ‘What If?’ service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year and is available to family carers in Cambridgeshire. It can provide urgent support to you, in the event of your carer being unable to care because of a sudden illness, accident or other unplanned event. This is done by getting in touch with your nominated contacts for you, with back-up support available, if essential.

If the person who looks after you lives in Cambridgeshire they can register a ‘What If? Plan’ with us and apply for an Emergency Card. This is a free service funded by Cambridgeshire County Council to look after adults with care needs during an emergency involving their family carer.

Carers who are not registered and wish to do so should contact us and you will be supported to do this.  Alternatively you can complete the  What If? Plan Registration Form and return it to us via email or post.  Download the What If? Plan Guidance Notes to help you complete the registration form.

If you live in Peterborough and your carer provides regular and substantial care, they can register for a separate emergency scheme run by Peterborough City Council.  Please call 01733 747474 and ask for the Emergency Support for Carers service or visit the Peterborough City Council website for more information and to register.

The plan encourages family carers to think about several situations and what would happen if…?  Carers then prepare a list of family and friends who have agreed to help out and their information will be stored securely and registered with Carers Trust Cambridgeshire.

Many voluntary sector partners are also able to help you create a What if? Plan, so if you are already in contact with another voluntary sector partner and would like them to help you please ask.  Examples of those that have already agreed to help include: Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK Cambridgeshire, Cam Sight, Care Network Cambridgeshire, Centre 33, CHS Group, Headway, Making Space.  Others continue to sign up and we welcome more, so if you would like to be supported by an organisation you know that is not already familiar with the scheme, please put them in touch with us or let us know who they are and we will encourage them to be involved.

Find out about our training session for partner organisations for their staff who will be supporting carers to complete the plans.

Carers will be issued with an Emergency Card with contact details to use in the case of an emergency or other unplanned event. This gives carers peace of mind knowing that their What If? Plan can be accessed through a dedicated telephone number that is always available. The card will identify the carer through a unique reference number.  Carers will also be given aWhat If? uniquely numbered card to attach to keys too, so these can be returned to them if lost.

An emergency counts as any unplanned event, such as:

  • Sudden illness
  • Unplanned admission to hospital
  • Family emergency (e.g. close relative taken ill)
  • Risk to employment
  • Where a carer’s nominated (informal) individuals are unavailable to respond, then Carers Trust Cambridgeshire will respond, free of charge, for a maximum period of 24 hours until family / more long term arrangements have been put in place. Additional hours can be purchased directly from ourselves, or any other provider, if necessary.
  • Where the person you care for is known to adult social care as an existing eligible service user then their local social care team may arrange additional replacement care, if required for a longer period, and this will be subject to existing charging criteria.

Carers who are currently registered with an ICER (Individual Carers Emergency Respite) will be assisted to transfer to this new service by Cambridgeshire County Council during their next annual reassessment.

This service is available to carers irrespective of whether they meet national eligibility or not.

Download the What If Plan? postcard.

If you have an further queries or questions, please contact us on 01480 499090 or email care@carerstrustcambridgeshire.org.