What is The Herbert Protocol? | Davis Blank Furniss Solicitors

It is extremely distressing when an elderly family member or friend goes missing, especially if they have dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease or other care and support needs.  At times of high stress, it can be hard to think of all the important pieces of information that the police may need to help them with their search – this is where the Herbert Protocol comes in.

What is the Herbert Protocol?

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme introduced by the police, in partnership with other agencies, that encourages family members, care providers and friends to compile a record of key information about a vulnerable person that could be used by the police if the person goes missing.  For those living with, or caring for, people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, this can offer some peace of mind.

The protocol is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived in a care home.  Mr Herbert, who had dementia, went missing and sadly died whilst searching for his childhood home.

What does the Protocol involve?

The Protocol consists of a form that is kept at home, or in a safe place, or if the vulnerable person resides in a care home, it can be kept on their file.

The form sets out essential and important information about a vulnerable person.  It does not replace existing safeguarding and security measures but is simply an extra tool to be used to quickly locate a vulnerable person.  The police will only ever ask for the form if the person is reported missing.

Alerting the police as soon as possible will maximise the chance of locating the person quickly and safely.  It is also useful to tell the police operator that the Herbert Protocol is in place for the missing person and the location of the form.

Who should complete the form?

The person at risk, family members, friends or care providers can complete the form.

Permission to complete the form should be sought from the person at risk.  If this is not possible, the family member, friend or care provider should make a ‘best interests’ decision.

What information should be recorded on the form?

Information to be recorded includes:-

  • basic details – full name, nicknames, languages spoken, age, gender;
  • physical description – including build, height, weight, hair colour and distinguishing features such as birthmarks, scars and tattoos;
  • physical capabilities and mobility – including eyesight, hearing, ability to communicate, physical disabilities, mobility aids and access to vehicles;
  • routine – friends, contacts, previous addresses, childhood address;
  • life history – including schools/colleges/universities attended, previous jobs, hobbies and interests;
  • places – including favourite places frequented, routes taken and significant places in the past (e.g. where they went on holiday, where they got married);
  • technology – whether they have on them a tracker, other GPS enabled device or a mobile phone;
  • next of kin and other important contacts e.g. carer, family, friends and professionals such as GP;
  • medical history – including health conditions, essential medication, effects if medication not taken, what calms the person if they are stressed, the best way to approach them;
  • point of contact when they are found.

It is also recommended that several copies of an up to date photograph of the person are kept with the form.

How to obtain a copy of the form

All police forces involved in the Protocol have slightly different versions of the form, which is available to download from their respective websites.

The form and further details can be found on the Greater Manchester Police website at www.gmp.police.uk/Herbert.

What to do with the form once it has been completed

The form should be kept electronically (if possible) and in a place where it can be quickly located should the need arise.

It is a good idea to have the information with family members or people who may identify the person as missing (e.g. care home, neighbour).

As the form contains a lot of personal data it should be stored securely in accordance with data protection laws to protect the person’s privacy.  However, if the person goes missing, sharing the information with professionals, including the police, will become necessary.

Keep a note of who has a copy of the form so that they can be provided with updated copies if the form needs to be updated in any way.

For more information about Karen and her work, please click HERE.


Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google