Launch of The Herbert Protocol: Missing people with Dementia 24 October 2017
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to exceed one-million by 2025, soaring to two-million by 2051. Every three minutes, a person develops dementia in the UK.
As the need for mental health support increases, it is important for us to adapt our services to respond to that demand. One way we are working towards that is the adoption of the Herbert Protocol: a simple risk reduction tool to help us in the search for people with Dementia who go missing.
A family member, carer or close friend can fill in the form detailing essential information that could lead to them returning home safe, sooner.
Surrey Police are one of the pilot forces to adopt the Herbert Protocol, and have joined with Surrey County Council and Surrey and Borders Partnership to deliver it countywide. Local GPs and clinics will be made aware, and should point carers, friends and family of those experiencing dementia to the Surrey Police website to download and fill in the form.
We are making the well being of a missing person with dementia a priority by bringing in the Herbert Protocol. As winter draws in, colder nights and shorter days will mean that finding that person as soon as possible is vital in our mission to effectively safeguard vulnerable adults.
What is the form for?
When a vulnerable person is reported missing, time becomes critical; they could easily become confused, miss important medication or be vulnerable to other environmental aspects such as the elements, or crime.
The Herbert Protocol ensures that the responding police team has the most up-to-date information ready to distribute among colleagues, and most importantly may eliminate the need for further questions to the family/friends in what would be an incredibly distressing time.
What does it include?
The form includes details of the missing person as last seen: this could include the clothing they were wearing, details of regular medication and information regarding their health and mental well being. This form may help to provide accurate and up-to-date details to help officers locate the missing person sooner.
Police officers will receive the form via their Niche system and use the information to help guide their search.
Neighbourhood teams who are aware of vulnerable people in the community can help to promote the scheme at day centres, GP surgeries and care homes.
If anyone has a friend or family member who suffers from dementia they may also want to support them by access the information on the Surrey Police website.