Springhill Care Group is spelling out the benefits of reducing the use of anti-psychotic medication used to treat people with dementia.
Anti-psychotic drugs are inappropriately prescribed to an average of 144,000 people with dementia in the UK every year, doubling the risk of death, trebling the risk of stroke and sometimes leaving people unable to walk or talk, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
The government drive is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society and the Dementia Action Alliance, of which the Springhill Care Group is a member.
The group’s Birch Green Care Home, Skelmersdale, is also taking part in a major new national initiative being conducted by The Association for Dementia Studies to reduce the use of anti-psychotics, the Focused Intervention Training and Support (FITS) initiative, commissioned by The Alzheimer’s Society and the University of Worcester.
The Government has commissioned a national audit to establish the provision of dementia services across the country and will provide local NHS and social care organisations with a measure of their progress in key areas including a reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medication.
Ken Nolan, chairman of Springhill Care Group, said: “We are progressing with our own programme in reducing the use of anti-psychotic medication wherever appropriate as well as supporting the government initiative.
“As a group, we passionately believe in putting people and their needs at the forefront of what we do, and this is all part of that commitment.”
It is thought the reduction in the use of anti-psychotic medication could benefit many thousands of older people in the future, with 80 per cent of those in care homes having dementia.