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Anti-Psychotic Medication

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to ensure that anti-psychotic medication is not being prescribed unnecessarily to older people in nursing homes. [113711]

The older people's national service framework (NSF) recognises that there has been concern about the inappropriate prescribing of anti-psychotics to people with dementia, especially those in care homes. By implementing the NSF, particularly the medicines management supplement, inappropriate prescribing is being tackled.There is other relevant action. For example, under the care homes regulatory regime, care homes are required to keep meticulous medical and drug records on every resident and, if the National Care Standards Commission finds evidence of over-prescription or maladministration of drugs, it will report such evidence to the police and the professional bodies of those involved for further action.In addition, on 31 March 2003, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health announced that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence will be producing a guideline on the care of people with dementia, including the use of anti-psychotics, as part of the eighth wave of its programme. This will be important in achieving the best use of anti-psychotic medication for people with dementia.