Herbert Protocol

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A new tool to help find vulnerable people, particularly those with dementia who go missing.

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What is the Herbert Protocol?

The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia.  It is a process to be used where there is a risk that a vulnerable person, particularly if they suffer from dementia, may go missing.     

 It consists of a form for recording key information which the police will require if the vulnerable person goes missing.   Carers, family members and friends should complete part one of the form in advance, and obtain a recent photograph of the vulnerable person.  In the event of the vulnerable person going missing, part two should be completed, and the form plus photograph handed to the police. 

The form can be used for any vulnerable person not just those with dementia.

Who decides if a vulnerable person is at risk of going missing?

This should be based on your professional judgement or personal knowledge of the vulnerable person.

Who completes the form?

The vulnerable person and their family/carers, including care-home staff, should jointly complete part two.   If appropriate, family/carers may do so on behalf of the vulnerable person.

 The form should be completed as fully as possible and then kept regularly updated, so that all the information is accurate and current.

When should the form be given to the police?

The police only need the form at the point the person is reported missing and it will be used to assist with their enquiries to locate the missing person.

Where should the form be stored?

The form should be kept securely at the vulnerable person’s address or may be held by a family member, a carer, a friend or a neighbour.   It needs to be readily available when required.

 The form can be downloaded from various web-sites (including www.thamesvalley.police.uk) and can be completed by hand or electronically.   A paper copy plus the photograph will need to be handed to the police officer who attends to take the missing person’s report.

What action should be taken if the person goes missing?

A search of the address, grounds and outbuildings should be undertaken and then the police alerted as soon as practicable.  Tell the police call-taker that a Herbert Protocol form is available.

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