July 20, 2015

NHS Promises Rapid Action on Over Medication of People With Learning Disabilities

In the light of one of three reports, commissioned by NHS England to look at the over-prescribing of psychotropic drugs to people with learning disabilities, revealing that up to 35,000 adults with a learning disability are being prescribed an antipsychotic, an antidepressant or both without appropriate clinical justification, rapid and sustained action to tackle the issue has been promised.

Three separate reports from Care Quality Commission, Public Health England and NHS Improving Quality highlighted a need for change after finding that:


  • There is a much higher rate of prescribing of medicines associated with mental illness amongst people with learning disabilities than the    general population, often more than one medicine in the same class, and in the majority of cases with no clear justification
  • Medicines are often used for long periods without adequate review
  • There is poor communication with parents and carers, and between different healthcare providers.