Herbert Protocol

Is someone you know or care for living with dementia?

North Wales Police is committed to becoming a dementia friendly organisation. As part of this commitment the Force is implementing the Herbert Protocol.

The aim of the scheme is to help keep people who are living with dementia safe, particularly if, as their condition progresses they start to 'walk about' which is not unusual following diagnosis. Often people will only travel a short distance, maybe into the garden or down the street and will return a short time later. However, some people can get lost and go missing. This can lead to feelings of confusion, fear and vulnerability for individuals and their families, particularly at night time or in inclement weather conditions.

The Herbert Protocol is designed to assist in locating individuals safe and well should they go missing, and provide reassurance to family and friends that the police have all the information they need to help locate the individual. The Herbert protocol is a national initiative adopted by North Wales Police, as well as many other police forces around the UK. 

Information to help to search for someone with dementia

It is important that individuals with a diagnosis of dementia are able to live well with the condition. The Herbert protocol is not there to place restrictions on anyone or on their way of life. The Herbert protocol is there to put a system in place that will help to give the emergency services the best possible information should there be a need for them to become involved in a search for someone with dementia.

The Herbert Protocol is a form which is kept at home, or in a safe place, with important information about a vulnerable person. Should they go missing, information is easily on hand about routines, medical requirements and favourite places to visit and can be handed over to the police, alleviating the worry of collecting it together during a stressful time.

How to use the Herbert Protocol

To join, you need to:

  1. Read the guidance information below
  2. Download and complete “The Herbert Protocol Information Form” and retain in a safe place

If someone goes missing:

If you are concerned that a person living with dementia is missing you MUST call the police on 999. It is quite normal to worry about calling 999. Some people are concerned that they will be criticised for calling the police, but if you are worried about a person's safety then this will not happen.

Further information can be found within the frequently asked questions below.

Where can I find The Herbert Protocol Vulnerable Adult Missing Person Profile?

The form is available on this website: Herbert Protocol form

Download the “Herbert Protocol Information Form” here: Pdficon Small Download the document

When should I complete the Herbert Protocol form?

If you are a carer or relative of a person who is living with dementia then you can complete the form at any time you wish, and retain it for future reference. This is particularly important if the person has started to “walk about” or you think they may do so. The form has been designed so you can fill it in on a computer - this will mean it is easier to share the information with us when it is needed. When you have completed the form, please keep it somewhere that you, a family member, or member of the emergency services will be able to easily locate it.

How much detail is needed?

Whilst sometimes more information is better. Police officers want an overview rather than in depth detail. Whilst we need to know some key information, we don’t need to know everything.  If you are writing the information by hand, please try to make sure that it is easily readable for someone perhaps unfamiliar with your handwriting.

What will happen to this information when I have completed the form?

There is no need for the police or anyone else to have access to this information unless the person to whom it refers goes missing.  You keep the information and hand it over when the police need it - it will be used to help the police to find the person as soon as possible, and nothing more.

We will never share your information with anyone else, unless as part of a live investigation it is necessary to do so to safeguard someone.

What should I do when I find out that a loved one / resident is missing?

If you are concerned that a person living with dementia is missing you MUST call the police on 999. It is quite normal to worry about calling 999. Some people are concerned that they will be criticised for calling the police, but if you are worried about a person's safety then this will not happen.