The Herbert Protocol


The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a War veteran of the Normandy landings who lived with dementia.


It is a simple risk reduction tool to be used by carers, family members and friends to complete in advance and is a form recording all vital information such as:


  • medication required,
  • mobile numbers,
  • places previously located,
  • a photograph


In the event of your family member or friend going missing, the form can be easily handed to the police at the point the person is reported missing to reduce the time taken in gathering this information.



What should be included with the protocol form?

A recent photograph of the person should be kept with the form. It is not intended to replace existing safeguarding and security measures.



Who decides who is at risk?

If you think that your family member or friend is at risk of leaving their home and going missing or already has a history of this please fill in the form as soon as possible.


If you are a carer the judgement should be based on your professional opinion.



Who completes the form?

The form can be completed by a family member or, with the permission of the next of kin, friend or neighbour working together with the vulnerable person.


If the person is in a care setting, or the person filling in the form is a home carer or a representative of a partner agency, take advice from your management on your organisation's protocols.


The form should be completed and regularly updated, so that all the information is as relevant as possible.



When should the form be sent to the police?

The police only need the form at the point the person is reported missing. There is no need to hand it to police before then and the form will be returned once the person is found.



Where should the form be stored?

It should be stored in an easily accessible place in the person's home but kept out of sight of visitors as the information is confidential.


In the care setting it should be stored in accordance with data protection laws, but where you can find it quickly.



What should a care provider do if the person goes missing?

After you have conducted an 'open door' search of the address, grounds and outbuildings and you believe a person is missing, alert the police at the earliest opportunity.



Download the form

You can download & print the form from here, a paper copy will need to be handed to the police officer who attends to take the missing person's report.



Further Information

Click on the Devon & Cornwall police link below.

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