Keeping people with dementia safe and found - The Herbert Protocol

Last updated: 25/04/2023

What is the Herbert Protocol?

It consists of a form that contains vital information about a person with Dementia that can be passed to the police and Search and Rescue if that person is reported missing. A recent photograph of the person should also be kept with the form. The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a War veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia. He died while he was ‘missing’ on his way to his childhood home.

How will completing this form help?

We know that when a person living with Dementia goes missing they will often display certain behaviours that will make is much quicker for Police or Search & Rescue teams to find them. To be able to do that we need as much information as possible about the person, their life and their behaviours. It is about finding the missing person quickly.

Who fills the form in?

The care provider, the person at risk or their family or friends can fill in the form.

When should I complete the form?

Try to complete the form as soon as possible, so that you have the information ready in case you should ever need to use it. Don’t forget to keep a recent photograph with the form.

I’m unsure of some of the questions on the form and can’t answer some of them.

Don’t worry, just complete as much as you can.

What should I do with the form when it is complete?

Police or Search & Rescue do not store the form. You need to keep the form in a safe place, either in electronic format on a computer, or a printed version. It is a good idea to have copies with family or friends.

The Police and Search and Rescue will only ask for the form, or the information on the form, if the person it refers to is reported missing.

What should I do if my relative or friend goes missing?

Call 999 and ask for the police. Let them know you have a Herbert Protocol form and try and have the form to hand so you can pass on information quickly.

Is there an ID bracelet scheme linked to a local database that I can add a person with dementia to, to help locate them if they are lost?

Yes - Thames Valley Police work with MedicAlert to provide this service.  MedicAlert will store your Herbert Protocol form.  An annual fee is payable.  See poster below which has contact details.

The Herbert Protocol form can be downloaded from various web-sites and can be completed by hand or electronically.   A paper copy plus the photograph will need to be handed to the police officer who attends to take the missing person’s report.


Who to contact


Contact your local Police team


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