Skip to main content


Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken since 4 December 2001 concerning over-medication of older people; and what progress has been made on the points listed in the reply to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam by the Minister. [107371]

The hon. Member's concern was about inappropriate prescribing of antipsychotics. We have been monitoring the use of antipsychotics among older people. The rates per 1,000 population have remained fairly steady since 1999, with an increase in the proportion of atypical antipsychotics—which is likely to be because they are better tolerated than traditional antipsychotics.Progress in relation to the main points covered by the reply is as follows:

as part of the eighth wave of its work, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence will be producing a guideline on dementia, which will cover the use of antipsychotics for people with dementia
the new national minimum standards for care homes have been introduced, with standards relating to the administration of medicines
the Medicines Partnership Taskforce and the National Prescribing Centre have developed a guide on medication review for practitioners and managers to optimise the use of medicines in older people and reduce the unwanted effects of medication and wastage from unused medicines
many primary care trusts have devised innovative schemes where professionals review older people who are on four or more medicines regularly ensuring that they are still required and appropriately taken