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Newly released Social Care module: STOMP

Following on from our Skills for Care endorsement last week, we are delighted to announce the release of our new Social Care module – STOMP (Stopping the over-medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both).

STOMP is an NHS campaign about making sure people get the right medicine if they need it, alongside help they need in other ways as well.

It is about encouraging people to have regular medication reviews, supporting health professionals to involve people in decisions about their care and showing how families and social care providers can be involved.  

STOMP also aims to improve the awareness of non-drug therapies and practical ways of supporting people whose behaviour is seen as challenging.Successfully training and developing staff both in health and social care settings and in the community through STOMP e-learning helps you to:

  • focus on person-centred care
  • reduce over medication through STOMP
  • equip staff with the skills, knowledge and understanding to do things differently
  • help staff to work proactively to improve the quality of care
  • improve understanding of alternatives to medication

Every day between 30,000 and 35,000 people with a learning disability, autism or both are taking prescribed antipsychotic or antidepressant medication for the wrong reason.

Psychotropic medication is used as a means of controlling behaviour that challenges, and this includes antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilisers and sedatives.

These medicines are mostly used to reduce excitation and aggression, even though there is little evidence that this works for people with a learning disability or autism. Almost two-thirds of people with a learning disability have been prescribed psychotropic medications.

Long-term use of these medicines puts people at risk of a wide range of side effects such as weight gain, organ failure, stroke and premature death. Such devastating consequences are not acceptable and need to change.   

Yet there are alternative evidence-based approaches using drug-free methods of treatment which work.  The Serious Case Review following the Winterbourne View Hospital inquiry found that many individuals were prescribed antipsychotic and antidepressant medication with no diagnosis of a mental health requirement to support their use.

The review resulted in a specific recommendation to reduce the use of antipsychotic and antidepressant medication.

In the past, psychotropic medication has often been used to manage challenging behaviours in people with a learning disability or autism, regardless of the clinical indication. Rightly, we are starting to recognise that utilising a chemical restraint isn’t necessarily an appropriate first line measure, especially where no mental health disorder has been diagnosed.  

STOMP training is essential as it advocates for person-centred, least restrictive approaches, making use of psychological and other evidence-based interventions to aid in behaviour management. This ultimately aims to improve the lives of individuals and minimise the numbers subject to the sizeable side-effect profile of psychotropic medications.”

Comments from a doctor working in a large teaching hospital in the north-west. CQC inspections will include greater scrutiny of restrictive practices, including the use of medication to control a person’s behaviour – so ensure that you prioritise STOMP training to develop the confidence in your staff teams to challenge poor practice.

Using this e-learning module will ensure your whole workforce receive high-quality learning and consistent messages.    You can find out more about our social care catalogue here, or simply fill out the form below for a 7 day free trial.

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