There is nothing more frightening or distressing than when a loved one, friend, or neighbour fails to return when they should.
For people living with or caring for someone who has dementia, this could be quite common but there are things you can do to prepare for this and signing up to the Herbert Protocol is one of them.
The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme being implemented by Lancashire Constabulary in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services and North West Ambulance Service.
It involves carers compiling useful information which could be used by Police and other agencies to search for and locate a loved one in the event of them going missing.
Carers, family members and friends complete the form in advance, giving all vital details including medication required, mobile numbers and places known to visit, along with a recent photograph.
Should that person then go missing, the form can be quickly and easily used to assist the search process.
What is the Herbert Protocol?
It is a simple risk reduction tool to be used in the event of an adult with care and support needs going missing. It consists of a form that contains vital information about a person at risk that can be passed to the police at the point the person is reported missing.
A recent photograph of the person should also be kept with the form. It is not intended to replace existing safeguarding and security measures.
Who decides who is at risk?
The judgement should be based on your professional opinion or knowledge of your family member, or the person you care for.
Who completes the form?
In a care setting, the care provider, or their family can fill in the form. Please seek permission from the person at risk or their next of kin.
If neither is possible, the care provider should make a 'best interests' assessment.
The form should be completed and regularly updated, so that all the information is as relevant as possible.
When do the Police need the form?
The police only need the form at the point the person is reported missing. There is no need to hand it to police before then and the form will be returned once the person is found.
Where should the form be stored?
It should be stored securely at home or in the care setting (in accordance with data protection laws) where it can quickly be found.
Printed or electronic form?
You can download the form below, a paper copy will need to be handed to the police officer who attends to take the missing person's report.
What should a care provider do if the person goes missing?
After you have conducted an 'open door' search of the address, grounds and outbuildings and you believe a person is missing, alert the police at the earliest opportunity.
If you believe that the person missing is at a high risk of harm, please call 999. Tell the police operator that you have the Herbert Protocol person profile.
- Herbert Protocol 60 Second Briefing
- Herbert Protocol Information Leaflet
- Herbert Protocol Form (Word - docx)
- Herbert Protocol Form (Adobe PDF)