Following the early release of the new NHS Emergency Steroid Card back in March to keep patients with Addison's or adrenal insufficiency safe during the COVID-19 crisis, the NHS steroid card has been updated and physical copies will shortly be available for order!

The card is still available as a download, allowing you to immediately print a copy for your wallet or purse, as well as saving a copy of the card to your mobile phone. The card can be downloaded from the Society for Endocrinology adrenal crisis webpage.

What is the NHS Emergency Steroid Card?

The card has been developed by the Society for Endocrinology (SfE), Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), to be carried by patients at risk of adrenal crisis. As well as including sections for you to complete information helpful to medical staff, the weblink and QR code printed on the card takes medical staff straight to further information on the emergency treatment of adrenal crisis. New medical guidance has been released alongside the card, providing vital information on the prevention and emergency management of adrenal insufficiency.  

The development of the NHS Emergency Steroid Card is a fantastic and reassuring resource for those of us living with Addison's. It's development and update in liaison with ambulance services shows the increased awareness around the correct and fast treatment for adrenal crisis, one of the main aims of our charity work - our great thanks to the commitment of the team involved!

ADSHG Charity Medical Trustee Dr Helen Simpson, who has led the development of the card, tells us:

“We are all really excited that physical copies of the NHS Steroid Emergency Card will soon be available - timelines and details will come shortly. Please bear in mind cards will need to be ordered and distributed which will take a little while. In the interim please carry on downloading a pdf from the website. Please bear with us a little longer and I look forward to seeing cards in your possession soon!”

Below we’ve answered some of your questions about the card.

When will a card be available for children and adolescents?

This card and its associated guidance is intended for use by adults (16+). A specific card for children and adolescents by the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes is underway but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need further information please email the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes (BSPED) who are discussing this separate guidance. We will keep members updated on further developments as we hear them.

How do I order a physical copy of the card?

Exact timelines and details will follow shortly. But the process will be through your healthcare professional – this could be your Endocrinology Consultant or GP for example – who will be able to order you a card from NHS Business Services Authority and Primary Care Support. We recommend sending them this link to the NHS Steroid Card Guidance as this is a new release and they might not be aware of it just yet.

Due to the current health pandemic, please be aware there is likely to be a delay in receiving the card once ordered due to health services being busy. So if you can print your own copy of the updated card to carry on your person whilst you wait to receive the card, this is a great option.

I don’t have a printer! How else can I display the card?

As well as people asking friends or family to print the copies of the cards, we’ve had great feedback from members saving the card on their phones. As most of us always have our phones nearby, this gives an immediate option ahead of receiving a physical copy of the card. The image can also be included in your mobile phone medical ID, if your mobile phone has that option.

We at the ADSHG have found this to work great as our wallpaper background! Check out our snapshots below. Here we have screenshotted the card on our smartphone from the Society of Endocrinology website and saved as an image on our phone.

                           

It’s important to note carrying the NHS Emergency Steroid Card is recommended in addition to your medic alert bracelet or necklace.

If you have any photos or ideas you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch on our Contact Us webpage.

Can I still purchase the ADSHG Adrenal Crisis Emergency Wallet Card?

Yes, the NHS card is a welcome addition to the charity Adrenal Crisis Emergency wallet card, available from our online shop and in our charity members welcome pack. The charity card is intended for the information of paramedics, GPs, Accident & Emergency staff and other front-line medical personnel, on the treatment required to prevent an adrenal crisis in the event of serious injury or illness. Our silicone steroid-alert bracelets are also available in our online shop.