Age Action Ireland

PIP-Personal Information Pack

Want a list of all your medicines and medical conditions in case of an emergency?
Would your family know who your pharmacist and doctor are if they were asked at the Accident and Emergency department? If not, then you need a Personal Information Pack (PIP).

Ask your pharmacist to order you one. They will then fill out the PIP information sheet for you. It might just save your life!

Available Free of Charge from Age Action.

What is the Personal Information Pack (P.I.P.)

In recent times, a Pfizer-led project aimed at improving emergency care for people in the community came into being. Two pilots were conducted in the Cork region to evaluate the usefulness of the Personal Information Pack (PIP) and to identify possible improvements to the pack.

PIP is a pack containing an insert with relevant medical and personal information about the owner. This information has been obtained and input by a Healthcare Professional, most likely a Pharmacist. Any person who has a PIP shall also carry a similarly colour-coded key ring, to enable emergency staff to identify them easily. In order for emergency staff and GP’s to identify home-owners with PIP, there will be a green sticker on the inside frame of the Hall door and the pack shall be located in the fridge.

The benefits of PIP are large. From a GP perspective it means that if called to the care of a patient whom they don’t know, that they can retrieve the PIP from the fridge to ascertain a medial and medicines history. Fire Fighters, Gardai and Ambulance Staff may also retrieve the PIP from the fridge to discover the person’s history and in turn they may bring the PIP to the Hospital, should the person need hospitalisation. This means that when the patient arrives in the Emergency Department, staff will have some knowledge of the past medical and medicines history of the patient, along with personal information relative to carers, next of kin, allergies, donor information etc.

The reason for keeping the PIP in the fridge is two fold. Firstly, most people have a fridge and this is an easy ‘common location’ for storage, and secondly the fridge is usually the last thing to burn in the event of a fire.

The Key Ring that a person carries enables Hospital staff to identify that a person has a PIP at home, they in turn may then ask next-of-kin to retrieve the PIP and bring it to the Hospital, which will inform Hospital staff of past medical and medicines history enabling more speedy delivery of appropriate care. This is a non-profit making endeavour and the €2 charge is designed to ensure sustainability of the project into the coming years.

Those involved in developing the PIP include Pfizer, the Irish Pharmaceutical Union, the HSE, Age Action Ireland, Dr Stephen Cusack, CUH, Ms Clare McGabahnn, St. Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork, the Ambulance Service, An Garda Siochana, Neighbourhood Watch and the Fire Service.

Available Free of Charge from Age Action and your local Pharmacy.