New protocol for people with dementia

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Police chiefs in South Yorkshire have introduced a new protocol for officers dealing with people with dementia.

South Yorkshire Police has teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Society, health trusts and Dementia Action Alliances to introduce the ‘Herbert Protocol’ to provide officers with early access to information when dealing with missing people with dementia.

The protocol was adopted by the force in May last year and implemented with registered care home providers across South Yorkshire.

From this week it will now be used for anyone with dementia who is reported missing in the county.

The protocol enables people living with dementia, or their carers, to be able to complete an information sheet containing information about their medical status, mobility, access to transport, places of interest and daily routines.

Once completed, copies are made and are then available for use if they should ever be reported missing.

The idea is that speedy access to information will help officers track missing people down quickly.

Jim Sheard, South Yorkshire Police’s Mental Health Co-ordinator, said: “When anyone is reported as missing, their family and friends will be understandably be worried and distressed, this is especially so when that person is vulnerable through illness.

“However the protocol will allow officers to access vital information and hopefully reduce the time that a person’s whereabouts are unknown, returning them quickly to their loved ones.”