Concern over prescriptions for those with learning disabilities

NHS England has said that it will take swift action to tackle the issue of people with learning disabilities and autism being given unnecessary medication.

According to a recent report by Public Health England, around 35,000 adults with a learning disability are being prescribed antipsychotics or antidepressants, or both, without there being a valid medical reason.

An official summit was organised this month to discuss the issue and anyone who believes that they might be affected is being advised to seek advice from their doctor.

In the meantime people are being asked to continue with their prescribed medication unless they have been advised to do so by a medical professional.

The issue of ‘over-medication’ was first highlighted following an edition of BBC’s Panorama.

While antipsychotics and antidepressants can be useful for managing learning disabilities if they are prescribed carefully, sometimes patients are given quantities and combinations that act as a ‘chemical restraint’.

In these instances, strong doses of medication are being used instead of more suitable treatments, even though clinical guidelines advise doctors against this.

Holmleigh Care has a wealth of experience supporting those with learning disabilities and autism. Our aim is to work closely with service users and help them to live a secure, independent and fulfilled life. For more details about the services we provide, please contact us.

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