1. Introduction

In the event of an adult being discovered to be missing from their home, the procedure below should be followed.

2. Immediate Action

Begin an immediate search of the local area.

Liaise with others in close vicinity (neighbours, shopkeepers etc.).

Contact relatives to inform them of the situation and to check if they know where the adult is or maybe.

Once it is certain the adult is definitely missing, contact the following:

  • police: use the local number where known. If not, dial 999 and report the adult missing;
  • inform relevant manager/s
  • the service manager should inform the adult’s next of kin / relatives;
  • when the police arrive, give them any written information about the adult;
  • inform the police of possible areas the adult may try to go.

3. On Return

When the adult returns home ensure all parties involved are informed particularly the police and relatives.

Reassure the adult and ensure they have come to no harm during their absence. Call a GP if necessary.

Complete an accident / incident form and make a note of the incident in the adult’s care and support plan and document any contact with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Carry out a full debrief of events and update risk assessments and complete all required documentation.

4. Unauthorised Absences of Persons Detained or Liable to be Detained under the Mental Health Act 1983

Services that are designated as low, medium or high security are required to notify CQC of any unauthorised absence of a person detained or liable to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, and of the return of persons from unauthorised absences.

Absences are notified using part 1 of the form below. Returns from absences are notified using part 2 of the form.

Unauthorised absence notification form.

Services with no specific security designation are not required to notify CQC about unauthorised absences.