Caring safely at home: Planning for an emergency

As a carer, you may be faced with an emergency. In the first instance, you should consider calling either 111 or 999. But, while it's difficult to think about, it’s important that you are prepared.

The following videos are designed to provide guidance for some situations that may arise.

These videos are designed for informal carers to give you and the person you care for practical and relevant information to support you day to day.

Click to play the following videos to find out more.

This section covers:

About 111 and 999

NHS 111 can help you if you are not sure what to do with an urgent medical problem. A fully-trained adviser asks questions about the symptoms and will take it from there.

Call 999 when there is a medical emergency – when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. Examples of medical emergencies include:

  • loss of consciousness
  • confused state
  • fits that won’t stop
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • severe bleeding.


This video explains what choking is and what to do if the person you are caring for begins to choke.

Airway, breathing and circulation (ABC)

ABC stands for airway, breathing and circulation and is a guide to help you in an emergency. This video provides more detail.

Performing CPR

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This video explains what you should do if the person you are caring for requires CPR.

What is critical care?

If the person you are caring for becomes seriously unwell, they may have to go into critical care – sometimes referred to as intensive care. The following video provides more detail about what it involves.