How do we keep STOMPing?

Giselle Cope, FoNS Practice Development Facilitator

Giselle Cope RNLD, BSc (Hons) - Practice Development Facilitator

Recently I attended the NHS England, STOMP (Stopping the Over Medication of People with a Learning Disability, Autism or Both) Count Me In conference in Birmingham. This campaign, which was first launched in England in 2016, is very much going from strength to strength, now seeing health and social care organisations pledging to work together to stop the over use of psychotropic medication for adults with a learning disability, autism or both.

In December 2018, NHS England, in collaboration with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, launched STOMP-STAMP (Supporting Treatment and Appropriate Medication in Paediatrics) for children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both. The campaign advocates inclusive and collaborative working with families, staff and relevant organisation/agencies to ensure that individuals receive the right medication, regularly reviewed, taking into account alternative therapies and other practical means of support to minimise/stop medication use. STOMP, is part of the new 10 year plan for the NHS.

It is estimated that between 30-35,000 people with a learning disability, autism, or both are taking, without any justification, psychotropic medication every day.  That’s the equivalent to filling Birmingham Arena with people twice a day. That is an astonishing thought! One which I feel highlights the significant importance of this work and one which I feel very passionate about.

The conference Itself was both uplifting and thought-provoking. Listening to the real-life stories, throughout the day, of professionals, families and carers demonstrated the true impact that reducing psychotropic medication has on the well-being and overall quality of life of people with a learning disability and their families. This really bought STOMP to life for me!

One question which was raised on the day was how do we maintain momentum and continue STOMPing when we have a workforce that feels very much undervalued? I immediately connected to this question.

My first thought was about the association between staff well-being and subsequently patient care and how do we build resilience within the workforce to keep momentum and keep going? This very much resonated to my current FoNS work with organisations using creating caring cultures and the resilience based clinical supervision model as a framework for group and individual supervision.

My other thought was that a good starting point I feel would be understanding what STOMP truly means to each person, whether a professional, family, carer etc?  How can we begin to engage in conversations about what is important to people? There is an array of resources easily accessible through the NHS England STOMP section of its website and through its partner organisations.  One resource I am curious to explore is the STOMP pairs game. This game was designed by VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group).  These cards are a great tool to support and enable conversations between, staff and individuals with a learning disability about psychotropic medication; a very handy tool with regards to staff awareness.

Surely STOMP is an opportunity for change?  How will you begin the STOMP conversation? What will your call to action be as a result?

STOMP is very much every one’s business!

Details of the STOMP card game can be found here.

The latest  STOMP newsletter and signposting to resources and Information can be found here.

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