Pioneering Project Shortlisted for National Award

Pioneering Project Shortlisted for National Award

A Cornwall based project which looks to empower patients to monitor their mental health and stop over-prescribing antipsychotics, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Shortlisted for the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Awards Mental Health category, the STOMP Challenge is the brain-child of Consultant in Adult Developmental Neuropsychiatry, Rohit Shankar MBE, from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

STOMP, which is a national project and stands for Stopping Over Medication of People, has combined forces with the Cornwall Transforming Care Partnership (TCP), a committee of multiagency and patient representatives, to review everyone with a learning disability taking antipsychotic medicine according to their level of risk, such as taking more than one psychotic without a valid reason.

The STOMP Challenge includes the addition of a Purple Book, similar to that of the Red Book given to parents of young children, to empower patients to monitor their own medications and general health, with aim to reduce or stop unnecessary antipsychotic medication.

“People with a learning disability have little choice in many matters and tend to be medicated inappropriately and wrongly as an easy way to cope with the complex challenges they pose to society, as opposed to working through their actual concerns. The Purple Book is a cost effective solution which gives more responsibility to the person, their family or carer. It is not extra work for the GPs” says Rohit Shankar.

The Purple Book is designed to reassure everyone on antipsychotics that they are safe, while local teams including the Learning Disability service and its clinicians work their way through a risk matrix. If the Purple Book highlights concerns, the patient can be quickly given a review. In the last year the project has proved to be hugely successful, with one patient who has used antipsychotics for over 20 years without diagnosis, withdrawn from medication.

Rohit Shankar continued: “STOMP and the Purple Book bring a new hope. Cornwall has been at the vanguard for developing and executing a plan to deliver STOMP to the UK. By involving multiple local organisations and teams from primary, secondary and the private care sector, we have been able to reduce the burden of medication in the local learning disability population, using innovative practices.

“The recent shortlisting in the BMJ Awards showcases the innovation and success of the project, thanks to our local Learning Disability service and clinicians who strive to provide excellence and patient centred care, even in the most trying of conditions. It is a tribute to the local population of people with a learning disability and their family and carers, who have supported this novel venture.”

Every year, more than 350 teams enter the BMJ Awards and compete to get their work recognised in front of their peers, their organisation and the wider healthcare community. The awards ceremony will be held in London on 10 May 2018.