The Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme introduced by the Police in partnership with other agencies to encourage carers to compile useful information which could be used to help locate a vulnerable person if they go missing.

The initiative is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia. George Herbert died whilst ‘missing’, trying to find his childhood home.

What is the Herbert Protocol?

The Herbert Protocol is a simple risk reduction tool to be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing. Consisting of a simple form containing vital information about a person at risk, which can be passed to the Police in the event of that person going missing.

Who decides who is at risk?

The judgement should be based on your professional opinion or knowledge of your family member.

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 require 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.

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