Sir Ian Carruthers, Chief Executive of NHS South West and Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Society recently wrote to SHA Chief Executives to invite their participation in work to accelerate improvements in local practice in prescribing antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia, which will be funded by the Department of Health.
- Download the letter (MS Word 128 KB)
The government has recently committed to achieving an overall two-thirds reduction in the use of antipsychotic medication by November 2011. The Department of Health has commissioned a national audit to measure progress at a national level, which is being undertaken by the NHS Information Centre. The audit will deliver its first results in Spring 2011.
The letter states that it is important that the over-prescribing of antipsychotic medication is tackled as part of whole-system change to deliver quality outcomes for people with dementia and their carers and that the issue is not seen in isolation. It is crucial that work on improving prescribing progresses in conjunction with improving the design of services for people with dementia and their carers, especially early diagnosis and intervention, and support in managing challenging behaviours.