Your medical information. On you. Keeping you safe. Providing you with peace of mind since 1964

The MedicAlert Foundation first launched in Turlock, California, in 1956, before coming to the UK over 58 years ago. As the pioneers of medical IDs, we remain the only charity provider of life-saving medical ID services worldwide.

MedicAlert UK is based in Buckinghamshire, with a production unit creating bespoke medical ID jewellery and a member services team including in-house Registered Nurses to support our 42,000 members.

Our Vision

Better lives for people living with health concerns.

Our Mission

To give people with health concerns peace of mind by providing personal medical information in an emergency.

Our History

At 14 years old, Linda Collins cut her fingers while out shooting in Turlock, California, USA. During treatment, she was given a skin test for a dose of tetanus antitoxin and went into near-fatal anaphylactic shock. Luckily, she survived. However, if Linda had been given a full dose, she may not have survived. Her parents, Dr Marion and Chrissie Collins, now more aware of Linda’s vulnerability, would attach a note to her coat describing her allergies.

When Linda started university, they wanted something more permanent so they designed a metal disc showing the Rod of Asclepius (the Greek symbol for healing - the familiar sword with a snake wrapped around it) and 'MedicAlert' in red. On the back were details of Linda's allergies.

Other people with allergies started to notice Linda's bracelet and interest grew. The Collins family decided to share their ideas with others and set up a charity in 1956.

By 1957 they were organising national mailing campaigns, designing MedicAlert posters to send to hospitals, police and county sheriff's departments as well as presenting at medical conventions in San Francisco.

MedicAlert founders, Dr Marion Collins, Chrissie Collions and Linda Collins all sitting together

A 24-hour phone service was launched, providing the MedicAlert wearer's medical history, name, next of kin and address. To support this service, each MedicAlert disc now had a unique number to identify the wearer easily in an emergency.

By 1961, MedicAlert Canada had formed as a non-profit in Toronto, closely followed by New Zealand and then the UK in 1964.

After the Lions Club endorsed MedicAlert in their international magazine, the Collins family took a six-week tour around Europe to promote MedicAlert to interested Lions Clubs.

MedicAlert stainless steel bracelet showcasing the red MedicAlert logo and a member's vital information engraved on the other side

With much support from Lions Clubs and Denis Gilchrist (a former Chair of The MedicAlert Foundation), as well as a headlining article in the 'Nursing Times', awareness of MedicAlert had increased across the UK and the ROI. Due to its growth, MedicAlert UK become a separate entity from Lions International.

Working with the London Ambulance Service, an emergency phone line was launched, available in over 200 languages and dialects.

By 1971, MedicAlert Australia was born and have since provided protection and peace of mind for hundreds of thousands of Australians.  

The MedicAlert Foundation has grown internationally, with nine locations as far spread as South Africa and Malaysia, to locations such as Iceland and Cyprus.

In 2019, we celebrated our 55th anniversary in the UK and Ireland.

MedicAlert UK now supports over 45,000 individuals to keep them safe in an emergency and provide them with peace of mind. Last year alone, our emergency line answered over 700 calls. 

Today, MedicAlert UK are working hard to continue to:

  • build strong partnerships with charities that support people with numerous health conditions
  • maintain an education service for all emergency services and healthcare professionals
  • drive awareness amongst the public, ensuring everyone understands the importance of checking for MedicAlert ID jewellery 

55th anniversary logo

Meet The Team

Click on any of the pictures below to learn more about our CEO and the charity's board of trustees. 

Our Locations

MedicAlert provides its life-saving service, as well as peace of mind, to millions of members around the world. 

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