A life-saving initiative to help local people with dementia stay safe and independent
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Herbert Protocol FAQs

The Herbert Protocol form should be completed by the person with dementia or by the individuals who know the person best. This may be a family member, a close friend or a carer.

In a care home setting, the care home should seek permission from either the person at risk or their next of kin. If this isn’t possible then the care home should make a ‘best interests’ assessment. The form should be updated on a regular basis, whenever there is a change to the person’s circumstances.

As soon as possible. The form needs to be completed in advance of a person going missing. It can be completed at your own leisure. However, the sooner it is ready, the sooner it can be used if needed. The form should be updated regularly so the information is as relevant as possible.

Once you have completed the form, please store it in a safe place where it can be found quickly. A common place for the Herbert Protocol form to be stored is attached to the fridge. Make sure your family members and/or carers know where it is. You may want to make a copy for your relatives, friends or neighbours to store. It is only necessary to provide the form to police when the person is reported missing. There is no need to hand it to police before then.

You keep the information and hand it over when the police need it – it will be used to help the police to find your loved one as soon as possible and nothing more. The original form should be returned once the person is found. It is a tool for the police to help find the person safely and any information obtained by the police is subject to data protection principles.

Ring 999. Report the person as missing and let police know if the person who has gone missing has filled in a Herbert Protocol form.

The Herbert Protocol operates within all police forces across Northern Ireland. For those people without printers, we advise that you contact us using the online form below and we will arrange for a form to be sent to you.

Request a Herbert Protocol form

If you would like us to send you a print-out of the Herbert Protocol form, you can request one using the form below. Please include your postal address in the message box. It will not be used for any purpose other than sending you the form.