Call for care providers to support campaign to stop over-medication in learning disabilities

Skills for Care has issued a specific pledge for the social care sector to support the STOMP (stopping the over-medication of people) with a learning disability and / or autism campaign and is urging all relevant social care employers to sign up to support it.

STOMP aims to raise awareness about stopping over-medication, and provides resources so you can work with prescribers, commissioners and other providers to tackle the issue. Social care employers can give people working in the sector the skills and confidence to use alternative approaches and stop inappropriate use of medication with support from our resources.

You can read more and sign up at

What’s the issue?

Public Health England estimates that every day between 30,000 and 35,000 people with a learning disability are taking prescribed antipsychotic or antidepressant medication without appropriate clinical justification. Sometimes this medication is used as a means of controlling people’s behaviour, even when alternative evidence-based approached are available. Long-term use of these medicines puts people at unnecessary risk of a wide range of side effects including weight gain, organ failure and even premature death.

What’s the STOMP pledge?

When you sign up to the pledge you’ll complete a self-assessment of your organisational performance again each of the pledge commitments, and use this as a basis for a STOMP development plan.

VODG has developed guidance, a self-assessment tool and an action plan template to help you do this, which are all free to access from their website.

What resources do SKILLS FOR CARE have to help?

They have lots of resources to help you stop the over-medication of people with a learning disability and / or autism.

  • What skills are needed to work with people with autism?
    The Autism skills and knowledge list outlines the knowledge and skills needed to provide a good service to people with autism. If you’re responsible for learning and development, Implementing the autism skills and knowledge list through staff training and development maps autism specific qualification units to the skills and knowledge list.
  • Developing awareness about autism: learning resources
    This resource lists training materials that have been developed by a range of organisations to raise awareness and understanding about autism for different groups of workers in different settings. It can help staff at all levels better recognise and respond more effectively to the needs of adults with autism.
  • What skills are needed to work with people with a learning disability?
    The Learning disabilities core skills education and training framework outlines the knowledge and skills needed to provide a good service to people with a learning disability.
  • Positive behavioural support (PBS)
    PBS involves understanding why an individual exhibits behaviours which cause concern and addressing the issues that trigger or maintain the behaviour. This is usually by helping people learn less damaging ways of having control over their own life, and also by supporting them to get appropriate help for physical or mental health problems or trauma. Skills for Care have lots of free online resources to help you understand more about PBS, what you can do in your organisation to support PBS and best practice examples.
  • A positive and proactive workforce: guidance about workforce development to minimise the use of restrictive practices
    This guide is for commissioners and employers to help them develop a workforce that’s skilled, knowledgeable, competent and well supported to work in a positive and proactive way to minimise restrictive practices, including the use of medication.

Get involved

If you support people with a learning disability and / or autism, sign up to the pledge today.