The Health Minister Robin Swann MLA has welcomed the support offered by the Herbert Protocol, a nationwide initiative rolled out by Dementia NI and the PSNI to help find missing people with dementia more quickly.
The Herbert Protocol is a partnership effort between Dementia NI, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Policing, Community and Safety Partnerships and the Department of Health. It consists of a simple form that gathers vital information on a person with dementia in advance and helps police officers to work more quickly should the person be reported as missing.
Speaking in the video below, Minister Swann said, "I hope the [Herbert Protocol] initiative will be used right across Northern Ireland because I feel sure that having a completed form will give peace of mind to people living with dementia and their families that should they go missing, there is a plan in place to find them safely.
The Minister continued, "I want to commend Dementia NI, the PSNI and the Community and Policing Safety Partnership for their collaboration on this important initiative."
We're delighted that Minister Swann has welcomed the Herbert Protocol and sees it as a milestone in helping people with dementia across Northern Ireland to stay safe and independent, now and in the long-term.
Part Of The Support Offered In Northern Ireland To People Newly Diagnosed With Dementia
Speaking further about the Herbert Protocol, Minister Swann said, "As you may be aware, people with dementia are more likely to become disorientated and often experience short-term memory loss yet can recall memories from many years ago. When out and about they may not remember how to get home. Sometimes those reported missing try to make their way to locations from their past such as a childhood home.
"The Herbert Protocol is a simple form which can be completed by people with dementia and their families, friends and carers and is designed to provide the police with everything they need to know to find the person who may have gone missing quickly and safely.
The Minister continued, "By completing the form before any incident occurs, the person with dementia and their families can consider what information might be most useful to police, find a recent photo and have everything ready to give to police to aid in their search should the worst happen.
"The Herbert Protocol has already been used successfully in the Armagh, Craigavon and Banbridge localities but I welcome the national launch that will help to promote greater awareness and provide a consistent approach across the country.
"Northern Ireland’s dementia strategy recognises the importance of providing support and information post-diagnosis. Making people with dementia aware of the Herbert Protocol can be part of the support offered in Northern Ireland to people newly diagnosed with dementia, including those in the early stages of dementia who may be experiencing mild symptoms but want to put advance plans in place for the future.
"I hope the initiative will be used by people across Northern Ireland. I feel sure that having a completed form will give peace of mind to people living with dementia and their families that should they go missing there is a plan in place to find them safely.”
We urge anyone across NI who is living with dementia, and families and carers, to go to https://www.psni.police.uk/saf... or click the graphic below to download the Herbert Protocol form today.