A National Framework for the response to adults missing from health and care settings

The framework

Missing People have published ‘The multi-agency response for adults missing from health and care settings – A national framework for England’. This framework aims to set out a good practice approach for multi-agency partnerships in every area across England to ensure that they are working together to prevent and respond to missing incidents from hospitals and adults care settings.

Missing adults have often been overlooked in legislative and statutory expectations. Every year nearly 85,000 adults are reported missing in over 110,000 incidents across England, with up to 18% of those being reported missing from hospitals and an unknown number from adult care settings. Missing may be an indicator of a range of serious harms in a person’s life and some people who go missing will become victims of crime or experience harm while they are away. It is therefore vital that we get the response for this group right.

Following the APPG Inquiry into safeguarding missing adults who have mental health issues and the subsequent one-year-on report, a Task and Finish Group was convened to develop this national framework.


The Task and Finish Group was made up of representatives from:

  • NHS England
  • Public Health England
  • UK Missing Persons Unit (National Crime Agency)
  • Care Quality Commission
  • College of Policing
  • National Police Lead for Missing
  • National Police Lead for Mental Health
  • National Network for Safeguarding Adults Board Chairs
  • Local Government Association
  • NHS Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group
  • London Borough of Bexley Adult Safeguarding
  • National Fire Chiefs Council

We hope that the framework will inform local multi-agency protocols for the strategic and operational response for missing adults, or adults at risk of going missing.

This framework is relevant for all agencies with a role in safeguarding adults. If you are interested in implementing the framework in your local area and would like to discuss the framework’s recommendations further please email PolicyandResearch@missingpeople.org.uk.

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