Police urge families in Lancashire to consider Herbert Protocol form for relatives with dementia

Police are urging people to rally together this winter to protect the vulnerable in our community who may be at risk of going missing during the festive period, where darker nights and memories of a life that once was, can disorientate those who suffer with dementia.

By Michelle Blade
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th December 2021, 10:37 am
Police are urging people to rally together this winter to protect the vulnerable in our community.
Police are urging people to rally together this winter to protect the vulnerable in our community.

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme implemented by Lancashire Constabulary in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services and North West Ambulance Service.

It involves carers of vulnerable adults (particularly those battling dementia) 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.

The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a War veteran of the Normandy landings, who had dementia and sadly died while he was 'missing' on his way to his childhood home.

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Carers, family members and friends complete the form in advance, giving all vital details including current medication, mobile numbers and places known to visit – including childhood pastimes, along with a recent photograph. If their loved one then goes missing, the form can be quickly and easily used to assist the search process.

For some, living with or caring for someone who has dementia can be an incredibly stressful and upsetting time, and remembering key information when being asked by a police officer could add to the stress and upset caused. The information contained within these forms aims to relieve some of that stress. The form can be easily downloaded from the Lancashire Police website, and should be filled in and kept up-to-date. You can save this onto your computer and should it ever be needed, it can be printed or shared with the responding officer. If you do call, please ensure you tell the Police Operator you have the Herbert Protocol person profile.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Brown said: “the Herbert Protocol is a brilliant, yet simple tool which can really help the police should your loved one go missing.

“We know that in a situation as distressing as this, it may not be as easy to remember what they were last wearing, the medication they take with the long name and favourite places they used to visit as a child; so, while we hope it never happens to you, a Herbert Protocol form could help us to find them quicker, and return them home safely.

“Although the Herbert Protocol is a tool primarily used for missing people who are battling dementia, it can also be used for vulnerable adults who are at risk of going missing such as those with learning difficulties, or physical and mental incapacities which could put them at risk.

“This information can be disseminated quickly among policing teams, and we will work with you to return them home safely, as fast as we can.

“We hope you never have to use this tool, but if you feel it would be beneficial please do download it, fill it in and keep it up to date.”

For more information, please visit here