Brighton & Hove Adults Services Logo


Top of page

Size: View this website with small text View this website with medium text View this website with large text View this website with high visibility

4.3 Missing Persons

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter was added to the manual in April 2015.


Contents

  1. Missing Person/Lost Call Procedure
  2. Missing Persons Procedure For Csts I@H Team Brighton And Hove Adult Social Care
  3. Home Care Support Worker’s Responsibility
  4. Duty Officer & Care Support Managers Responsibility
  5. Missing Persons Procedure for use by Care Link Plus between the Hours of 8pm and 7am


1. Missing Person/Lost Call Procedure

The CSTS I@H Service must investigate the whereabouts of any service person who appears missing or does not respond when a care visit or other planned visits is due to take place and entry to the home or contact cannot be made with the person.

The following procedure must be adhered to unless it has been otherwise agreed with the service person / their family in conjunction with the Care Manager, Social Worker and the CSTS I@H Team. The decision must be formally recorded on Carefirst case notes and the service person’s signature should be sought to verify agreement. Any such agreement must have a clearly recorded date and time period where the agreement is in place.

This procedure sets out the guidance and responsibility of the following roles and departments:

  • Home Care Support Workers;
  • Duty Officers/ Care Support Manager’s;
  • Care Link Plus out of hours support service.


2. Missing Persons Procedure For Csts I@H Team Brighton And Hove Adult Social Care

Procedures to be followed if it is reported by a Home Care Support Workers ( or manager) that contact cannot be made with a service person at the time a scheduled visit is planned to take place. All of the following actions and tasks completed need to be accurately reported on Carefirst case notes and in hand over sheets.

  • Home Care Support Worker reports into the Duty Office. All details need to be taken and recorded using the Missing Persons log/handover sheet i.e. Time of call and the current situation etc.;
  • Assuming that the carer cannot gain access, and they have made an initial search around the property. (See Section 3, Home Care Support Worker’s Responsibility);
  • Duty Office / CSM needs to try to make contact via the phone with the service person. This outcome then needs to be relayed to the Home Care Support Worker;
  • The Duty Officer/ CSM should then check CM2000 / Carefirst, followed by Care Plans and Alert Forms, for any significant recordings relating to the service person;
  • The Duty Officer/ CSM should try to liaise with relatives/family/neighbours and other professional’s involved i.e. District Nurses/MOW, GP’s, Assessment Teams etc to see if they have any information on the whereabouts and safety of the person;
  • Check if service person has been admitted to hospital;
  • Within normal office hours, if contact or the whereabouts of a person cannot be made or confirmed then the Duty Officer / CSM should then notify the Operations Manager/ Team Manager / Assistant Operations Manager for the area within which the service person resides. Depending on the circumstances the Operations Manager /Team Manager / Assistant Operations Manager will make a decision to inform the Service Manager/General Manager of the situation as appropriate;
  • If the person has not been located then the police should be notified and the person reported as a missing person;
  • The Duty Officer / CSM should gain clear instruction from the police of what actions they will or will not take and if the service needs to continue to take any actions alongside the police. Take note of the police incident number given and contact name and/or telephone number/extension;
  • If the police have been contacted, before the Duty Office closes, the Duty Officer / CSM must inform Carelink Plus of all the information and the police should be informed that the case has been handed over to the Carelink Plus as a liaison point for updates and feedback;
  • Please note that every “no contact” needs to be followed through. If you have spoken to the next of kin, and they ask you to wait a while before contacting the police, then you must agree a time scale for when the situation will be reviewed. This should be no longer than 2hrs;
  • If a decision is made to wait before calling the police then actions during this time need to be agreed, i.e. ask care staff to go back to the property after an hour to check to see if the person is home. Duty office to try to make contact by telephone. If after the 2hr period contact has not been made then the service person must be reported to the police as a missing person;
  • If normally access to the property is gained via a key safe and entry has not been able to be obtained, as it is clear there is a key in the lock from the inside of the property, then this raises the risk of immediate assistance being required. If this happens the police / ambulance service needs to be called straight away;
  • All information and actions need to be clearly recorded on Carefirst case notes and in hand over information. The missing persons log should be completed as you go through the process of trying the establish the persons whereabouts.

If the incident was occurring out of normal office hours and a CSTS I&H manager was unable to be contacted and staff need urgent advice and support then the GM “on call” needs to be contacted. Please read the guidance at the bottom of the Duty Officer & Care Support Manager Responsibility which gives information on contacting the General Manager on call. Carelink Plus have information on which General Manager is on call as well as their contact details.


3. Home Care Support Worker’s Responsibility

  • Check if you can see the person through the window or letterbox;
  • Check for any response if you call to the service person through the letterbox;
  • Collect relevant information e.g. Have the curtains been pulled? Can you hear the radio or television? Are the electrical lights still on?
  • If the service person is in sheltered housing inform the scheme manager and ask if they are able to make contact;
  • If you have a key safe number and agreed entry permission then try to gain access. If you are using a key and cannot gain access because a key is in the lock on the inside then do not delay, Contract Duty Office immediately or if out of hours contact Care Link Plus;
  • Try neighbours who may hold the keys or have information. Please be aware of confidentiality at all times;
  • If you have the service user’s telephone number, try ringing them;
  • If you have the next of kin details then try to ring them to see if they can update you of the person’s whereabouts;
  • Contact the Duty Office and inform them of the situation and what actions you have completed so far. You will then be given further advice and instruction;
  • If between the hours of 8pm and 7am when the Duty Office is closed then staff need to contact Carelink Plus. You need to be very clear on the information you are giving to enable the Carelink Plus staff to know how best to take things forward. They may ask for you to revisit or go back to the property and wait for the police.


4. Duty Officer & Care Support Managers Responsibility

Record the time and relevant information provided by Home Care Support Worker in the Establishment Records and on the Missing Persons Log / Handover sheet. Check the following:

  • That the Home Care Support Worker completed the checks and tasks expected of them as outlined in Section 3, Home Care Support Worker’s Responsibility;
  • Telephone the service persons home;
  • Establish who has case management responsibility (Assessment Teams i.e. OPCAT/ Physical Disability or Team manager) and if they have any information on the whereabouts of the person;
  • Whether information regarding the service person is available in the establishment records e.g. admitted to respite care;
  • Check Missing Persons file;
  • Whether there is a formal agreement not to investigate if service person does not respond;
  • If within normal office hours alert the AOM or OM of the situation;
  • Whether a support plan / RAP / Care First details of keys available for an emergency situation such as Carelink;
  • If the service person attends day services check whether they can provide information;
  • Contact the hospital admission department, GP or District Nurses;
  • Contact the next of kin;
  • If the next of kin advice you to wait before contacting the police to allow time for them to try to trace their relative or to give an opportunity for the person to return home then inform them that you will wait for a maximize of 2hrs. Agree to ring them back if you have not heard from them within 2hrs;
  • If all of the above has been followed and the whereabouts of the person is still unknown then contact the police to report the person as missing;
  • Record incident number given by the Police in Establishment Record’s. (Only the Police and Ambulance Service can force entry);
  • Inform the person with case management responsibility;
  • Keep the HCSW updated and advise them, if they are required to take any further actions;
  • If access can be gained via an alternative way of entry then ensure that a carer does not enter the premises alone. Wherever possible a manager should attend. If not available to do so then a second carer must be sent to support the worker;
  • If entry is forced by the police then ensure that the police will leave the premises secure;
  • If the Police are unwilling to investigate seek advice from a manager or GM on call;
  • If the person has not been found before you go off duty then you must ensure that you hand over to the staff coming on duty or to Carelink plus if on evening shift. You need to be very clear on what actions you have taken and what needs to be followed up. Please remember that Carelink plus is a support service and they should not be asked to start a missing person process if the incident is active and being worked through. Once you have worked through the process and reported the person missing to the police, then you contact Carelink Plus and advice that you are now passing over the details for them to act as the liaison point for the police between the hours of 8pm and 7am. Carelink Plus have a separate procedure which they follow if it is a new missing person report during the hours of 8pm and 7am. Please read the missing persons person’s procedure for Care Link Plus so you are fully aware of each departments responsibility.

ALL ACTIONS/ DECISIONS MUST BE RECORDED ON CASE NOTES ON CAREFIRST.
Please note any information you receive from Care Link Plus will need to be added by the CSTS I@H Duty Officer or CSM as they only have ready only and cannot record into the system. If there has been an incident which Carelink Plus have either actioned or acted as a liason point then they will E-mail over the information to you for you to enter into the Carefirst system.

This procedure may need to be used in conjunction with the Serious Incident Procedure.

If outside of normal working hours, before calling a GM on call, staff need to think about what it is they are requesting from them. The times when it is appropriate to call a GM on call are when staff are asking for:

  • Agreement / authorisation regarding something that cannot wait until the next standard working day;
  • Advice / support that cannot be found elsewhere and that is needed before the next standard working day;
  • An unexpected death where there is something that the team need particular advice on e.g. if the police have been called or if there is a particularly complex situation / the staff need support etc.

It would not generally be necessary to call a GM in the following circumstances:

  • A service user being taken into hospital unless the GM is needed to authorise something specific or there is a safeguarding or media concern regarding the circumstances of the missing person;
  • An expected death.


5. Missing Persons Procedure for use by Care Link Plus between the Hours of 8pm and 7am.

Record the time and relevant information provided by Home Care Support Worker in the Carelink recording log. Complete the Missing Persons Log / Handover sheet. Check the following:

  • That the Home Care Support Worker has contacted neighbours if appropriate out of hours etc.;
  • That the Home Care Support Worker has tried to make contact with the service user by telephone;
  • Ask the HCSW if they have key access and if they have tried to gain entry by using the key. If they have and they report that they cannot get in as the door is locked from inside then the police must be contacted immediately;
  • Check Carelink system to see if know and if any additional key holding information is available;
  • Is any information regarding the service person been recorded on Case Notes within Carefirst;
  • Check Carefirst to see if there is a formal agreement not to investigate if service person does not respond recorded;
  • Whether Support plan / RAP / Care First details of keys available for an emergency situation such as Carelink;
  • Contact the hospital admission department to see if the person has been admitted to hospital;
  • Contact the next of kin, if not already done so by the HCSW, to see if they have any information on the person’s whereabouts;
  • If the next of kin advice you to wait before contacting the police to allow time for them to try to trace their relative or to give an opportunity for the person to return home then inform them that you will wait for a maximize of 2hrs. Agree to ring them back if you have not heard from them within 2hrs;
  • If all of the above has been followed and the whereabouts of the person is still unknown then contact the police to report the person as missing;
  • Record incident number given by the Police in case notes (Only the Police and Ambulance Service can force entry);
  • Ask the police to keep you informed of the situation;
  • If entry is forced by the police then ensure that the police will leave the premises secure;
  • If the Police are unwilling to investigate seek advice from a manager or GM on call;
  • Report all information to the Duty Office by E-mail. Follow up with a phone call direct to the duty office at 7am the next working day. Scan / E-mail the Missing Persons Log / Handover sheet to the Duty Office and check it has been received;
  • If at any point Carelink staff feel they need advice or support then they are to contact the GM on call. When making this decision please refer to the guidance below.

Before calling a GM on call, staff need to think about what it is they are requesting from them. The times when it is appropriate to call a GM on call are when staff are asking for:

  • Agreement / authorisation regarding something that cannot wait until the next standard working day;
  • Advice / support that cannot be found elsewhere and that is needed before the next standard working day;
  • An unexpected death where there is something that the team need particular advice on e.g. if the police have been called or if there is a particularly complex situation / the staff need support etc.

It would not generally be necessary to call a GM in the following circumstances:

  • A service user being taken into hospital unless the GM is needed to authorise something specific;
  • An expected death.

As Carelink plus have read only on Carefirst CSTS I@H duty office will need to be asked to record the actions taken into the Carefirst system. This procedure may need to be used in conjunction with the Serious Incident Procedure.

End