Learning difficulties
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Herbert protocol equivalent

Cindy7007Cindy7007 Member Posts: 28 Connected
edited November 21 in Learning difficulties
Recently I have been looking for information on what steps can be taken if a young adult with learning disabilities goes missing.  This subject was raised as the young man in question does not always answer his phone or he will go out when he has very low battery life.  He may say he is going somewhere that should only take him 30 minutes and arrive home 3 hours later and not be aware of the time.  

I have reviewed and discussed with the family various safety equipment which might prove to be a positive move.

I also came across a Herbert Protocol which is a great idea and it is generally used for dementia patients who live in residential care with the full support of the Police.  I went on to speak to the Police to find out if they were aware of anything similar should a person with Learning Disabilities go missing.  For those people who do not know about the Herbert protocol, it is a form which has lots of individual information about a person, where they may go, what past connections they have etc.  These forms are handed to the Police upon reporting a person missing.  The Police were not aware of anything specific other than the Herbert protocol.  My concern was that when reporting a person missing it can be very stressful and it can be very difficult remembering everything that might be useful.

I wondered if anyone had come across such a form that can be tailored for different conditions and would certainly be useful to hand a pre prepared document to aid the search for the missing person?

If not, I will attempt to draw something up and will be happy to share it should it be of any use to anyone else.

Best wishes to all



  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Administrator Posts: 1,916 Disability Gamechanger
    @Cindy7007 Thank you for sharing this.  I'll be honest, I've never heard of the Herbert Protocol before but it sounds like a great idea should anyone with a learning disability go missing.  

    Please do let us know if you come up with anything :)  It would be appreciated. 
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  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,113 Disability Gamechanger
    I second that this is an interesting idea, and not something I'd heard of before. I looked it up, and it seems like the Herbert Protocol covers people with learning difficulties too in Scotland, so perhaps it's something that could be extended in England too? 
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  • Cindy7007Cindy7007 Member Posts: 28 Connected
    Hi @Tori-Scope

    It was Police in West Yorkshire that I spoke to directly who said the only "missing persons" form they support is the Herbert protocol.

    Maybe it needs addressing directly to a superior officer who can make decisions.  I wouldn't be happy using the Herbert protocol form as it doesn't cover enough individuality to be noted for people with learning disabilities, speech, frustration, fear and the list goes on and on.  If a person with such difficulties was to go missing, everyone looking would need to know the best way of approaching that individual. 

    I will look into it further and let you all know.

    Best wishes Cindy  
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 5,224 Disability Gamechanger
    Interesting and a very worth while project
  • littleacornlittleacorn Member Posts: 65 Connected
    I have attended training for Herbert protocol and examples were given when it has been used successfully for people with dementia both living in residential care and in their own home. Surely if completed on a computer the boxes could be extended to include relevent information for anyone who would benefit from it.
  • Cindy7007Cindy7007 Member Posts: 28 Connected

    Of course a form can be tinkered with to include more relevant aspects, my point was that, at present, the Police service only appear to recognise the Herbert protocol.  Who knows if something relevant is presented to the Police, it may also be accepted.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,113 Disability Gamechanger
    Definitely keep us updated @Cindy7007 :) 
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