STOMP stands for stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both with psychotropic medicines. STOMP is about helping people to stay well and have a good quality of life.
Psychotropic medicines affect how the brain works and include medicines for psychosis, depression, anxiety, sleep problems and epilepsy. Sometimes they are also given to people because their behaviour is seen as challenging.
People with a learning disability, autism or both are more likely to be given these medicines than other people.
These medicines are right for some people. They can help people stay safe and well. Sometimes there are other ways of helping people so they need less medicine or none at all.
It is not safe to change the dose of these medicines or stop taking them without help from a doctor.
Public Health England says that every day about 30,000 to 35,000 adults with a learning disability are taking psychotropic medicines, when they do not have the health conditions the medicines are for. Children and young people are also prescribed them.
Psychotropic medicines can cause problems if people take them for too long. Or take too high a dose. Or take them for the wrong reason. This can cause side effects like:
- putting on weight
- feeling tired or ‘drugged up’
- serious problems with physical health
There is an easy read leaflet about the project and supporting people who take psychotropic medicine. NHS England wrote it with MiXit, a theatre company for people with and without a learning disability, and with help from other people and families. NHS England commissioned MiXit to do a new play about STOMP which is a great success everywhere it goes. They also made a short video about it.
Useful STOMP resources:
People with a learning disability also often have poorer physical and mental health than other people. This does not need to be the case.
Anyone aged 14 or over who’s on their GP’s learning disability register can have a free annual health check once a year. An annual health check helps you stay well by talking about your health and finding any problems early, so you get the right care.
You do not have to be ill to have a health check – in fact, most people have their annual health check when they’re feeling well.
If you’re worried about seeing a doctor, or there’s anything they can do to make your visit better, let the doctor or nurse know. They’ll help make sure it goes well for you.
Watch this film about annual health checks for people with a learning disability.
You can find out more about the NHS Health Check for people with a learning disability at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/learning-disabilities/annual-health-checks/