Ahead of Dementia Action Week, which begins today on the 21st May, Sussex Police and their partners have adopted a new scheme to aid people with dementia, as well as their families. The scheme gives the families of those with dementia the opportunity to prepare information to be used in the event of someone who’s suffering going missing.
Entitled the ‘Herbert Protocol’, this scheme is named after World War II veteran, George Herbert, who repeatedly went missing from his care home. It’s main concept is providing the families of dementia sufferers with a form, on which they can outline their loved one’s main details, including vital medication information and previous addresses. This form then can immediately be handed over to the police, along with a photo, in the event that they go missing. This is intended to assist the police enormously, and greatly speed up the time it takes for the police to locate the missing individual.
Whilst it was previously named Dementia Awareness Week, the organisers behind Dementia Action Week decided ‘awareness’ was no longer enough: action was needed in order to support and care for those who suffer, as well as their families.
To enforce protocols such as this, as well as take action, is absolutely essential, considering the enormous amount of people suffering. According to the Dementia Action Week website, someone is diagnosed with dementia once every three minutes in the UK, as well the Sussex Police website noting that over 850,000 members of the UK’s population are sufferers.
In an official release from Sussex Police, Katy Bourne, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, has said that “I am really pleased that Sussex Police have adopted this protocol as it will help everyone from the police to families and carers to be best prepared for an unanticipated emergency and help protect the more vulnerable in our society.”
The form, as well as more information, is available here and it is advised that anyone whose loved one has gone missing should call 101, unless they are increasingly worried about the immediate safety of whomever is missing, in which case they should call 999.