Help Save the Life of a Missing Person

NHS Forth Valley and Police Scotland have joined forces in a scheme to help trace vulnerable missing patients, such as those with dementia.

It is available to everyone registered with adult care services in Forth Valley and forms can be found here.

Known as the Herbert Protocol it is a well-established initiative already used elsewhere in Scotland and the wider UK. It originated in Norfolk and takes its name after Normandy landings veteran George Herbert, who lived with dementia and died in 2011, after going missing whilst looking for his childhood home.

The Protocol requires a detailed form to be populated with vital information such as a recent photograph, contact details, routines and significant locations, which can then be provided to police officers and used to save vital time in a missing person inquiry.

For relatives in a care home, staff there should be contacted initially by a family member to discuss filling in the Herbert Protocol form and it can then be included in an individual’s care plan.

For relatives at home, the paperwork can be obtained through any police station or can be downloaded from the Police Scotland website and should be stored within the home.

Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant at NHS Forth Valley Nicola Wood said: “It is traumatic when a loved one goes missing, especially if they have dementia. Beyond calling 999, it is sometimes difficult to think what information the police need to help them with the search.

“Often missing people head to locations which were familiar to them or to try to find people who mean a lot to them. Having this type of information on record could save their life or prevent them becoming seriously injured.”