STOMP (Stopping Over Medication of People)

Published: 12th December 2018
Psychotropic medicines can cause problems if people take them for too long or at too high a dose. A national initiative is trying to put an end to this - find out how reducing medication improved the life of a Look Ahead customer.
What is STOMP?
STOMP is a national initiative designed to empower people to challenge prescriptions. The project was recently used in Southwark Bridge Road, one of Look Ahead’s mental health services. One customer, Katie, 39, was on 36 different types of medication for her physical and mental health. Katie complained to her psychiatrist that she felt like she was on too much medication; but they brushed off her concerns.
Katie also brought up her concerns about the amount of medication she was taking to staff at Southwark Bridge Road, who were finding Katie’s medication very difficult to manage. Regularly stopping and starting taking various medications without warning, it was often difficult to know exactly what she was taking at any certain point.
After hearing about STOMP, staff at Southwark Bridge Road questioned the amount of medication Katie was prescribed and got every single medication she was on reviewed by a psychiatric team. After this assessment, Katie was only prescribed 12 different types of medication, with on going review in place.
How did STOMP help Katie?
After taking the reduced amount of medication for a month, Katie went from being extremely disengaged and unapproachable to becoming more interested in the people and world around her.
Her appearance had visibly improved, and instead of her support focusing around when she would take her medication, staff have been able to help her to get support from different external services. These include Pause, an organisation which works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of their children into care and staff at You First are helping her to explore her interests so they can provide her with future volunteering opportunities.