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A North East NHS Trust and partner organisations to host conference addressing the over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both

Posted: 08/02/19

A North East NHS trust and partners including NHS England are preparing to host a conference dedicated to stopping the over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both.

“Have a Heart for STOMP” takes place on Thursday 14 February 2019 in Sunderland and is aimed at people with a learning disability, autism or both, their carers and families, and healthcare professionals.

The event is organised and hosted jointly by Sunderland People First, a community interest company dedicated to improving the lives of people with a learning disability, autism or both, together with national body NHS England and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), who provide mental health and disability services in the region.

STOMP is a national project promoted by NHS England which aims to help people to stay well and have a good quality of life through reducing the overuse of psychotropic medicines – drugs which affect how the brain works.

The day-long conference includes a range of activities and opportunities for people to talk about medication, behaviour and different ways that people can get the right support.

People with a learning disability and autistic people are facilitating the event and sharing their own experiences as part of the day, including stories about how their life has changed for the better thanks to STOMP.

The conference will also include an introduction to Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), a person-centred approach to supporting people with a learning disability. PBS aims to take on board the views of an individual and those involved with their care, as well as their social and physical environment, in order to develop support that improves their quality of life.

We are delighted to be working with Sunderland People First and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust on this timely and important event. The national STOMP campaign aims to ensure that everyone with a learning disability, autism or both gets the right medicine when they need it. As part of this event we are hoping to develop an action plan for individuals and organisations in the North East to work together to achieve this aim.

David GerrardPharmacist Lead STOMP Programme at NHS England

We are pleased to be jointly hosting the Have a Heart for STOMP conference. As a Trust we have made an organisational commitment to supporting the national STOMP campaign, and we hope that this event will raise awareness of the actions we can all take to support good practice around medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both.

Caroline WillsLearning Disability Clinical Development Lead at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

STOMP is important to me as overmedicating people can lead to people dying too young, it limits the choices people are able to make and people are not able to have the opportunity to lead the lives they want to. We are really excited that our event is aimed at people with learning disabilities and or autism and will include lots of activities and opportunities for people to talk about medication, behaviour and different ways that people can get the right support.

JodieAn Advocate at Sunderland People First

NTW signed up earlier this year to the STOMP pledge, which includes commitments to actively explore alternatives to medication, and to work in partnership with people who have a learning disability, autism or both and their families and carers in decisions about the use of psychotropic medicines.

The Have a Heart for STOMP event aims to build on the work of this pledge and to bring together people with a learning disability, autism or both to learn more about STOMP and to think about their care in a different way. It will help people to learn more about medication and other ways of helping to improve their quality of life including a session about mindfulness.

People with a learning disability, autism or both are more likely than other people to be given psychotropic medicines, which can cause problems if people take them too much, for too long or for the wrong reason. Public Health England estimates that every day more than 30,000 adults with a learning disability take psychotropic medicines when they do not have the health conditions the medicines are for.

As well as reducing the overuse of medicines, STOMP also focuses on generally raising awareness of how to stay healthy and well.

 

Find out more about Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust’s support for STOMP here

Read more about the national STOMP campaign on NHS England’s STOMP page. 

An Easy Read version of the STOMP campaign is also available here.