The Herbert Protocol

Do you have a friend or relative who is elderly, suffers with dementia or has other mental health issues which can leave them confused, lost or disorientated?

Nothing is more worrying or distressing than if someone you care about goes missing or doesn't return home when expected - and for people living with or caring for someone with dementia or other mental health conditions, this may be quite a common occurrence.

We do all we can to help locate missing people and get them home safely as quickly as possible – particularly when they are vulnerable.

Often missing people head for locations or try to find people who mean a lot to them, so having details of these people and places written down in case of emergency can really help us to speed up our search.

And that’s why we’ve adopted the Herbert Protocol, a national scheme which encourages carers, families, friends or neighbours, to print out and fill in this form with as much detail as possible, then keep it somewhere safe – along with a recent photo.

That way, if the worst does happen, you can give us all the information we need to start the search straight away – and you don’t have to think about significant dates or places when you’re worried and upset:

  • Print out and complete the form as soon as possible. Print out the form
  • If a relative or friend goes missing, call us on 999, tell us you have completed a Herbert Protocol form and make sure you have it to hand.
  • Keep the completed form in a safe but prominent position where you can find it quickly.  We will only ask for it if the person it refers to has been reported missing.
  • If you don't understand some of the terms on the form - don’t worry, just complete as much as you can.
  • We will use the information to help find the missing person. It will be stored securely and only shared with other agencies if there is a need to safeguard someone.