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NSFT to make STOMP pledge

​Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will pledge to play its part in reducing the over-medication of people with learning disabilities and / or autism during a special conference taking place next month.

The Trust will host the STOMP (stop over-medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both) event in Diss on Thursday, 15 November. Its aim is to raise awareness of the risks of over-using psychotropic medicines, which can affect the mind, emotions or behaviour, so that people with learning disabilities and autism can stay well and enjoy a good quality of life.

During the day, the Trust will also develop its own local version of the national STOMP pledge, which encourages the NHS to only use psychotropic drugs for the right reason, in the right amount and for the shortest time possible, while making sure they seek alternatives wherever they can. This is because the long-term use of antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants can lead to significant weight gain, organ failure and, in some cases, death.

David Gerrard, who is joint pharmacist lead for STOMP at NHS England, will also talk in more detail about the national programme, while service users and carers from Norfolk and beyond will share their personal stories.

Sue Bridges, Professional Lead (Learning Disabilities / Autism) with NSFT, said: “We are really pleased that our Trust is supporting this important national initiative. Reducing the overuse of medication is everyone’s responsibility, and can play a huge role in helping people with learning disabilities and autism to stay well and enjoy a good quality of life.

“It is really important that people only receive psychotropic medication when all other approaches have been considered, and that both the individual and their families or carers need to be involved in the decision-making and are aware of the potential side effects.”

The STOMP pledge was launched in June 2016 has been supported by the Royal Colleges of Nursing, Psychiatrists and GPs, as well as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the British Psychological Society and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF).

So far, more than 60 providers supporting nearly 60,000 people with a learning disability, autism or both have signed up to this pledge to take action to stop over-medication.

For more information on the national pledge, visit

Caption: Sue Bridges

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