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South Wales Police

Helping keep vulnerable adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia safe – The Herbert Protocol

Do you have a friend or relative with Alzheimer’s or dementia who is at risk of going missing?

We understand that caring for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be challenging and that planning ahead to help keep them safe is really important.

People living with dementia can at some point start to ‘walk about’, and while for some this may only be into the garden or street and returning a short time later, other sufferers can get lost and go missing. This can be a distressing experience for the individual and their family, friends and carers.

The Herbert Protocol is here to help you keep vulnerable adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia safe. It is a national initiative adopted by police forces around the UK.


Information to help to search for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia

The Herbert Protocol is a form/profile, which is kept by the person or place caring for the person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and contains important information about the vulnerable person including their routines, medical requirements and favourite places to visit. Should they go missing, this form can be handed over to the police and alleviates the worry of having to gather this valuable information together during a stressful time.

To join, you need to download and complete The Herbert Protocol Vulnerable Adult Missing Person Profile and retain in a safe place.

Please note: Police officers want an overview rather than in depth detail. Whilst we need to know some key information, we will not 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.


If someone goes missing…..minutes saved can mean lives saved.

If you cannot find someone quickly in the normal way, then please call the police on 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 it’s important that you call as soon as possible. The sooner the police know that someone is missing, the sooner officers can start looking for them.

A police officer will attend your address or care home and collect the Herbert Protocol Vulnerable Adult Missing Persons Profile from you, or if the form is electronic, the call handler will provide you with an e-mail address to send it to the police.

The information contained will be of great use when coordinating the search for the person. You will be feeling upset and worried for their safety, which is completely natural, and the police officers will make sure that you are supported throughout the process.


Additional help and support

Please remember the Herbert Protocol Vulnerable Adult Missing Persons Profile and the information it contains should be regarded as an additional measure to help ensure a person’s safety. It should NOT be the only approach taken.

If you or someone you care about is living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and you wish to talk to someone in confidence you can contact the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 or visit the Alzheimer’s Society website

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