STOMP guidance

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What is STOMP?

STOMP stands for stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both with psychotropic medicines. It is a national project involving many different organisations which are helping to stop the over use of these medicines.  STOMP is about helping people to stay well and have a good quality of life.

We all need to make it a priority to reduce and stop the use of inappropriate drugs, to reduce adverse side effects and potential drug interactions. This is vital to our patients’ safety and their quality of care.

The goal is to improve the quality of life of people with a learning disability by reducing the potential harm of inappropriate psychotropic drugs that may be used wholly inappropriately, as a “chemical restraint” to control challenging behaviour, in place of other more appropriate treatment options. It is time for action.  

We have signed up to the NHS England STOMP pledge with the aim to lead  medication reviews of people with a learning disability, with a view to implementing a planned supervised dose reduction and stopping of inappropriate psychotropic drugs.

The aims of STOMP are to:

  • encourage people to have regular check-ups about their medicines
  • make sure doctors and other health professionals involve people, families and support staff in decisions about medicines
  • inform everyone about non-drug therapies and practical ways of supporting people so they are less likely to need as much medicine, if any.

NHS England worked with MiXit theatre group, people with a learning disability and families and carers to write an easy read leaflet about the project. This is available in different languages, including Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali, Polish, Romanian and Somali.

They commissioned MiXit to do a new play about STOMP which is a great success everywhere it goes. They also made a short video about it.

NHS England also commissioned the Challenging Behaviour Foundation to produce some new resources for families.

To find out more about how STOMP is making a difference to people’s lives read the case studies and blogs including the video from Zoe. 



  • Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust have produced a series of 6 videos about STOMP. These include videos for GPs, psychiatrists, carers, pharmacists and the learning disabilities team
  • A Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) awareness video - This video aims to give healthcare staff an awareness of what can cause challenging behaviour in people with learning disabilities and/or autism and what can be done to support people and families before medication or admission become options

Alternatives to psychotropic drugs

The British Psychological Society (BPS) is a registered charity which acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK, and is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education, and application of the discipline.

The BPS have produced a leaflet for anyone supporting a person with a learning disability who is engaging in behaviour that is challenging. What can I do about challenging behaviour?

The British Psychological Society Committee and Working Group have also produced a position statement on Positive Behavioural Support and Psychological Therapies and People who have Intellectual Disabilities. 

Advice for people with a learning disability and their carers

  • An easy read document providing advice to patients, carers and others is available on the NHS England website 
  • The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) has a variety of support tools on their website aimed at social care and support material devised by a large provider of social care -CMG (Care Management Group). These include a document called ‘Preparing to visit a doctor to talk about psychotropic medication’. This resource is a guide for a support worker who is accompanying a person with a learning disability, autism or both to a GP consultation appointment to talk about psychotropic medication. It has been produced as part of the STOMP healthcare campaign
  • The Challenging Behaviour Foundation have produced a ‘Medication Pathway’. The pathway designed as a resource for family carers is comprised of a number of sections – Introduction, Medication facts and National Guidance, Medication has been suggested, challenging the decision to prescribe medication, when medication is being started, ongoing use of medication: monitoring and reviewing and Getting it right.

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