NHS England is today (25 April 2018) asking more doctors and health care professionals to sign up to a pledge to stop the overmedication of people with a learning disability, autism or both.
The renewed drive to widen support for Stopping OverMedication of People with a Learning Disability (STOMP), is being backed by the government and will target NHS trusts, CCGs and those in the independent sector, to review and seek alternatives to prescribing psychotropic drug prescriptions.
Representatives from these healthcare providers across the country will be invited to the launch being held at Gosforth Theatre in Newcastle and asked to sign up to the STOMP pledge to help make sure psychotropic drugs are only used for the right reason, in the right amount, for as short a time as possible.
An estimated 35,000 adults with a learning disability, autism or both are being prescribed an antipsychotic, an antidepressant or both without appropriate clinical justification. Long-term use of these drugs can lead to significant weight gain, organ failure and, in some cases, death.
The STOMP pledge was launched in June 2016 supported by a number of professional bodies including the Royal Colleges of Nursing, Psychiatrists and GPs, as well as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the British Psychological Society and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF).