Our History and Locations

How we started, and where we are now

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 but 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 in an emergency, would attach a note to Linda's coat describing her allergies whenever she was away from home.
When Linda started university they wanted something more permanent so they designed a metal disc. Using the Rod of Asclepius (Greek symbol for healing), followed by the words 'MedicAlert' in red; on the back was a list of Linda's allergies.
Other people with allergies started to notice Linda's bracelet so as interest grew, the Collins family decided to share their ideas with others. 

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

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 discs now had a unique number to identify the wearer easily.

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.

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 in the UK and the ROI. 

MedicAlert became a registered charity and with the London Ambulance Service, they launched an emergency phone line that was available in over 100 languages. 

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

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

In 2014, we celebrated our 50th anniversary in the UK and Ireland and to highlight this remarkable milestone we had a limited edition MedicAlert bracelet, beautifully handcrafted in 9ct gold.  

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 the Emergency Response and Recovery organisations
  • drive awareness amongst the public, ensuring everyone understands the importance of checking for Medical ID 

Website links