STOMP pledge refreshed

VODG and NHS England have launched the refreshed STOMP (STopping the Over-Medication of People with a learning disability, autism or both) pledge for social care.

The STOMP campaign encourages health and social care providers to work together to tackle over-medication. It is badly needed. Public Health England estimates that every day between 30,000-35,000 people with a learning disability are taking prescribed antipsychotic or antidepressant medication, or both, without appropriate clinical justification. This means that for some people medication is being used as a means of controlling “problem” behaviour, even when alternative evidence-based approaches are available. Long-term use of these medicines can lead to significant weight gain, organ failure and, in some cases, death.

Carl Shaw, learning disability advisor for NHS England commented on behalf of people with a learning disability or autism:

“A care provider’s role is to support people to live the life they choose but if they are wrongly prescribed psychotropic medication then they aren’t living a life of their choosing. If you help people to take the right medication then their quality of life will be closer to how they want it to be”.

So far 130 social care provider organisations supporting in excess of 45,000 people with a learning disability, autism or both have signed up to STOMP. Their actions are making a real difference to people’s quality of life and health outcomes.

Social care providers can sign up to the STOMP Pledge and access a range of resources to support its implementation here. The revised pledge combines the previous pledge and guidance documents.

STOMP has also recently been integrated into the Learning Disability Health Charter.