Purple Alert - Charlotte Swarbrick

Wed 17th April 2019 at 19.00 - 20.30


Our speaker, Charlotte Swarbrick gave members and guests an excellent presentation on the Purple Alert initiative.
This writer was unaware that the name Purple Alert was the primary name of a computer and  i-phone app. developed and introduced in Scotland over the last two years in response to the need to locate individuals with dementia who have gone missing.
The app. is the communications element of a combined system to locate and care for vulnerable persons who are reported missing. Purple Alert is a rapid emergency notification system launched by Alzheimer’s Scotland last year. The description of an individual on the system is based on an established formula, the Herbert Protocol, which  details personal characteristics such as height, hair colour, photo etc.
The system was designed and developed by people living with dementia, carers, Alzheimer’s Scotland staff, Police Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships and Telecare Services.
Charlotte gave us an example of how the system worked. Last year in the bustling Silverburn Shopping Centre, Ann, a carer suddenly lost her husband Hugh who suffers from dementia. She rang 999 and Police Scotland issued Hugh’s description and approximate location on the Purple Alert app.
At a bus stop adjacent to the Shopping Centre a lady in the queue saw the app on her i-phone.  The description and photo fitted the man standing next to her in the bus queue!  Hugh was then safely reunited with Ann.

Downloads of the Purple Alert app totalling 8,000 have been made throughout Scotland in the past year. The target is 10,000. Charlotte invited all members and guests to download the app.
This year, seven cases of the app being successfully used to locate and care for missing persons have been recorded .

Charlotte answered numerous questions from the floor and was thanked for her excellent presentation by Peter McGavigan. Peter advised that he has downloaded Purple Alert app!