Posted on 2nd March 2017

Latimer Hinks and Age UK Aim to Raise Awareness of Scheme to Support Vulnerable People

Natalie Palmer, Director at Latimer Hinks Solicitors and Trustee for Age UK Darlington
Natalie Palmer, Director at Latimer Hinks Solicitors and Trustee for Age UK Darlington

Latimer Hinks has teamed up with Age UK Darlington to raise awareness of the Herbert Protocol, an initiative to identify and protect vulnerable adults at risk of going missing, either from their home or a care setting

Administered locally by Durham Constabulary, the Herbert Protocol encourages carers, families and friends, particularly of those suffering from dementia, to collate relevant information, which can be used to help coordinate a swift and effective response should they go missing.

The premise is that a document, prepared in advance and regularly reviewed, with as much relevant information as possible allows the authorities to begin an effective and informed search in a much timelier manner than previously.

The form, available from Age UK Darlington and the Durham Constabulary website, covers simple information, including contact details of friends and family, medical conditions, and details of regular habits and routines, which may aid those conducting the search. In addition, the Protocol can support vulnerable adults living in their own homes to remain independent for longer, providing a safeguard if they go missing and access to extra assistance, where necessary.

Natalie Palmer, a director at the Darlington-based law firm, is a Dementia Champion, regional co-ordinator for Solicitors for the Elderly and a Trustee for Age UK Darlington. She said: “The Herbert Protocol is a valuable and important development, which has the potential to deliver support to some of the most vulnerable people when they are most in need.”

“At Latimer Hinks, we are actively encouraging our clients, their family, friends and carers to consider completing the form on behalf of their loved ones. We are also signposting people to Age UK Darlington to receive support and further information.”

Gillian Peel, Chief Executive of Age UK Darlington, added: “Ideally it would be a neighbour/someone living very near to the person who keeps hold of the form so that if there was an emergency, the Police will have a register and know exactly who to contact.”

Inspector Rachel Stockdale is co-ordinating the project on behalf of Durham Constabulary. She said “The Herbert Protocol is a big step towards protecting some of the most vulnerable adults in County Durham and Darlington, who are at risk of going missing.  It is important we have a joined up approach to prevent vulnerable people from going missing in the first place, and to ensure that if people do go missing the procedures are robust and effective.”

To find out more about the Protocol, visit the Durham Police website or call the non-emergency police contact number, 101. 

Alternatively, contact Age UK Darlington on 01325 362832 or visit

To watch a video with more information see The Herbert Protocol - Why it is so Important.

To download the Herbert Protocol leaflet click here and scroll down to You & Your Family.