A scheme designed to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our community is celebrating its first anniversary.
The Herbert Protocol was launched by Cheshire Police in April 2017 as part of the constabulary’s continuing commitment to become a dementia friendly force.
Under the scheme carers, family members and friends of those with dementia are encouraged to complete an online form recording vital details about that person in case they ever go missing.
This means that, in the event they are ever reported missing to the police, all their vital information can be accessed instantly and handed to officers - helping to reduce the time it takes to gather information, which can prove vital.
Chief Inspector Simon Newell said: “The Herbert protocol has now been running for twelve months and it’s already started to make a real difference to the way we work.
“Not only have there been instances where the information contained within the form has been used effectively to locate individuals who had gone missing, but it’s also an extremely effective engagement tool, allowing officers to link in with some of our most vulnerable residents.
“Since the launch we’ve worked closely with care providers across the county, ensuring that all residents are signed up to the scheme. This work has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission, who now includes the Herbert Protocol as part of their inspections of care homes.
“Our local officers and PCSO’s have also linked in with local community groups who support and care for people with Dementia, which has created some really positive engagement.”
When completing the form carers are asked to include a photograph of the person, any medication they require, contact phone numbers and key information about places they like to visit, where they used to live and work, their routine, or have been previously found. All of these details can prove vital in the event that they ever go missing.
Chief Inspector Newell added: “Dementia touches everyone, and while a large number of people have already joined the scheme, hundreds of new cases are diagnosed every week and we all have a role to play in helping to keep them safe.
“I’d encourage anyone who lives in Cheshire who has a friend or relative living with dementia to visit our website and complete the Herbert Protocol form. It won’t take long to fill it in – and the information you provide could be vital.”
To find out more about the Herbert Protocol or to register a friend or family member visit https://www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/missing-persons/herbert-protocol/. For advice or information about dementia please you can visit www.alzheimers.org.uk or call the Alzheimer’s Society North West office on 01925 572239.