We are proud to announce that on Wednesday April 25th 2018, we made a group-wide pledge to STOMP (Stopping the Over Medication of People with learning disabilities, autism or both).
STOMP is a national project involving many different organisations who collectively support more than 40,000 people. At a special ceremony during a conference held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, we made a commitment to the programme. The STOMP conference had a number of moving and powerful presentations, including a performance from the world’s first inclusive pop group, MiXiT. Their performance was fabulous and really helped to showcase some of the side effects that psychotropic medicines can have on people.
Group Medical Director Dr Dale Lawrence said: “Psychotropic medicines affect how the brain works and people with a learning disability, autism or both are more likely to be prescribed these medicines than other people.
“These medicines are right for some people. They can help people stay safe and well. However, sometimes there are other ways of helping people, so they need less medicine or none at all. The values of STOMP mirror the values of everyone at Danshell. We don’t want someone to be on medications when we can support them in another way. It is about being creative and dynamic and when you actually see the difference to the quality of someone’s life, it’s so positive and rewarding.
“At Wast Hills where we have already rolled out the STOMP programme, we have seen extremely positive benefits for those we support and for the staff who provide that support. We have seen a reduction in both dosage and overall use since beginning the programme. Two people have been supported to be entirely medication free, which is fantastic.
“Taking medications that are not needed can have an adverse effect on physical wellbeing, a person’s ability to engage or to take part in activities. They can be lethargic and they can gain weight.
“By examining the use of medications closely, reducing wherever we can and working positively with people to support behaviours without them relying on medications, we can focus on using non-pharmacological interventions, which is our model of care and support.
“Being on fewer medications, or none at all, means a person is more able to be engaged, we can work with them to develop more effective communications and people can have more meaningful interactions with the wider MDT. It’s a real team effort and everyone is involved in long term positive change to improve people’s quality of life.”