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People with learning disabilities urged to ask about their medication

File photo dated 16/11/09 of a pharmacist stocking shelves at a chemist as half of patients don't know about the potential side-effects of medication before they start taking it, figures suggest. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 16, 2013. Medicines can produce unwanted symptoms but a new poll found that only 49% of people are

File photo dated 16/11/09 of a pharmacist stocking shelves at a chemist as half of patients don't know about the potential side-effects of medication before they start taking it, figures suggest. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 16, 2013. Medicines can produce unwanted symptoms but a new poll found that only 49% of people are "usually" aware of the side-effects of a drug before they start using it. The poll, conducted on 2,000 UK adults on behalf of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), also found that only two in every five people read the patient information leaflet included in the drug packet. See PA story HEALTH Drugs. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire

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If you are unsure about the amount of medication you’re taking, tell someone – that’s the message local people and carers are being urged to adopt during Learning Disability Week this week as part of a national campaign to stop the over medication of people with a learning disability.

STOMP, which stands for stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism, or both, with psychotropic medicines, is a national project coordinated by NHS England to stop the over use of these medicines.

STOMP is about helping people to stay well and have a good quality of life.

Ricky Nicholson and Andy Walton, local experts by experience of learning disability services, have worked with NHS England to produce a film documenting their own experiences of being over-medicated.

They said: “We shared our stories about how medication can affect our behaviour and about people being on the most appropriate medication and dosage.

“It’s really important that people with learning disabilities, their carers and families know how to raise concerns with how their medication makes them feel. One way of doing this is to ask your doctor for a medicine review.”

Hayley Burwood - another local expert by experience – was also keen to share her story. She said: “A few years ago I had behaviour and anger issues, and I was on lots of medication, which really affected my mood – I was struggling to walk and talk, and I didn’t feel I was told about what I was taking or what the side effects would be.

“I wish I would have known then about STOMP, as it would have helped me to speak up about the concerns I had over the medicine I was receiving, and the opportunity to talk through what the best options were for me at that time. I’ve learnt so much about STOMP now that I can use it to help other people who’s been in the same situation as me and to gain awareness about over medicating people.”

NHS England and a range of partners have developed resources to promote and explain the STOMP campaign to the learning disability community, including accessible information and stories of people’s experiences.

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