National Dementia Action Week: North Wales Police re-launching Herbert Protocol
As part of the National Dementia Action Week (15-21 May), North Wales Police are re-launching the Herbert Protocol, a crucial initiative designed to quickly and safely locate missing individuals living with dementia.
Originally conceived by Norfolk Constabulary in 2011, the Herbert Protocol is named after George Herbert, a Normandy landings veteran who lived with dementia and repeatedly went missing from his care home.
The Protocol encourages families and caregivers to record vital information about the individual in advance, which can be promptly provided to the police in case of a disappearance.
“The Herbert Protocol encourages carers and families to record vital information on a form in advance, before a moment of crisis. Having this form to hand when a loved one is missing can speed up the search and mean the family or carers are not struggling to recall information when they are stressed,” said Superintendent Owain Llewellyn of North Wales Police.
In the past six months alone, North Wales Police have had to search for 50 individuals with disclosed dementia.
With the Herbert Protocol, the hope is to reduce the distress and danger associated with such incidents.
Families, carers, and friends are encouraged to complete the form with crucial details such as the individual’s medication requirements, significant locations, and a recent photograph.
This form can then be stored in a safe location in the person’s home or saved electronically by a family member.
In care homes, staff should be approached by a family member to discuss completing the form, which can then be included in the individual’s care plan.
To raise awareness about the Herbert Protocol, the North Wales Safeguarding Board has been actively distributing booklets and information leaflets across pharmacies, hospitals, surgeries, and dementia centres across the region.
Professor Tracey Williamson, Consultant Nurse for Dementia at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, emphasised the growing need for such initiatives as the Herbert Protocol.
She stated, “As people live longer, there is expected to be a 64% increase of people living with dementia in North Wales between 2017 and 2035, which would mean around 7,000 more people living with the condition.”
The Herbert Protocol is expected to be a vital tool in ensuring the safety of an increasing number of dementia patients in the region.
An electronic version of the form is available via the North Wales Police website, click here: Herbert