With the country in lockdown, many people who are living with dementia are not in their usual routines. The Herbert Protocol is an information gathering tool to assist the police to find a person living with dementia who has been reported missing as quickly as possible.
Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland, Scottish Care and Alzheimer Scotland have been working in partnership to increase awareness and promote use of the Herbert Protocol in Edinburgh.
The Herbert Protocol is a nationally recognised scheme supported and endorsed by Police Scotland. The initiative was first developed by Norfolk Police. It 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.
Who is it for?
This can be used for anyone who has a dementia diagnosis and may be at risk of going missing. People living with dementia often have loss of short term memory but can easily recall memories from decades earlier. Sometimes those who are reported missing are attempting to make their way to a place of previous significance to them.
What is it and how does it work?
The Herbert Protocol is an information gathering tool that encourages carers and families to record vital information on a form. This can be handed to police in the event of someone going missing.
It helps police to quickly access important information, avoiding unnecessary delays in gathering information at a time of crisis. The form records vital information such as where the person grew up, favourite places, former or current hobbies, GP contact details, medication, daily routine, a picture of the person with consent to share this on social media should it be required.
Once complete, the form can be retained by carers, or placed within the home or care setting in a safe but prominent position, so the information is easily available to police when required.
Further information, and the Herbert Protocol form, can be found on the Police Scotland website
Please pass on information on the Herbert Protocol to anyone it may be of use to. This can include colleagues, friends and family affected by dementia in Edinburgh. The completed form can be stored electronically as well as in paper form, but it is important that the family and friends of the person with dementia are the ones who keep the form.