Posted: Fri 18th Mar 2016

Gwent Partners Will Use ‘Herbert Protocol’ To Help Locate People With Dementia Who Go Missing /
This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 18th, 2016

A missing person’s protocol for people living with Dementia will be used in Gwent for the first time following a partnership between five Gwent local authorities and Gwent Police. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The ‘Herbert Protocol’ was launched today (Thursday, 17th March 2016) at Cwrt Mytton Care Home in Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent. The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a War veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with Dementia. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Gwent Police and Social Services departments in Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Caerphilly, Newport and Monmouthshire will start to use the protocol over the coming months. The protocol has been used successfully across England over the last year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Protocol will first be used for people living with Dementia in care homes but is also planned for wider community use going forward. It involves asking carers, family members and friends to complete a form in advance, recording all vital details about their loved one such as medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located, a photograph etc. This information can then be shared quickly with the relevant agencies should their loved one be reported as missing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Representatives of Gwent Police and Social Services were joined by representatives from the Gwent Police Crime Commissioner’s Office and the Older People’s Commissioner’s Office. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Blaenau Gwent Council’s Executive Member for Social Services, Cllr Haydn Trollope said: “We are delighted to be launching the use of the Herbert Protocol here in Blaenau Gwent today, together with our fellow Gwent authorities and Gwent Police. Nothing is more worrying or distressing than when a loved one or friend goes missing or doesn’t return home when expected. For people living with or caring for someone with Dementia, this may be quite common. The Herbert Protocol encourages care homes, carers, families, friends or neighbours, to hold information about the person with Dementia that can help the police find them if they do go missing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“When a person is reported missing, the police need a vast amount of information from people who are likely to be in a heightened state of anxiety. Extracting that information takes time and it may not always be accurate, particularly when it relates to historic information which can be important when searching for a person with Dementia. The Herbert Protocol is designed to collect most of the information over time using a special form, so that it can be passed to the police quickly if it is ever needed. It will help the police in their search for the missing person, saving valuable time and hopefully helping them to return them safety.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Detective Sergeant Stephanie Blakemore, who is leading the development of the scheme for Gwent Police, said: “Research into Dementia shows that those who are suffering with this condition will often re-visit places they used to be familiar with many years ago. I am hopeful that this new scheme will allow us to provide a quicker and more effective service, not only to the individuals but also to the families of those suffering with this condition.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Steve Bartley, the Safeguarding lead with the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, said: “The Commissioner has given her 100% backing for this protocol and is very excited by it. Something like the Herbert Protocol can make a real difference to lives across Wales.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Herbert Protocol is a preventative measure and supports the principles of the new Social Services and Wellbeing Act such as partnership working, early intervention and promoting wellbeing. The Act goes live on April 6th. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The protocol also supports local towns across the region in working to become dementia friendly communities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

If you would like to find out more about the Herbert Protocol and how it works please contact Phil Diamond at the Health & Social Care Transformation Team on 07904 921532 or e-mail ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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