RPS Wales reiterates call for urgent action on care home antipsychotics

Call follows new Dementia Action Plan for Wales

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales has welcomed the launch of a new 5 year Dementia Action Plan for Wales but continues to call for urgent action on the use of antipsychotic medication in care home settings.
The action plan is the first strategic plan focusing specifically on transforming care for dementia in Wales. It is supported by an extra £10m a year and aims to create new ways of caring, training and increasing the number of support workers, increasing rates of diagnoses and strengthening collaborative working between social care and housing.  
Commenting on the announcement Chair of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board Suzanne Scott-Thomas said: “It is great to see this renewed commitment by the Welsh Government to improve dementia care and diagnosis in Wales, supported by the substantial increase in funding.
“From our point of view at RPS Wales, it is particularly pleasing that the issue of inappropriate use of antipsychotic medicines among dementia patients is being addressed. We have campaigned very hard for this, working closely with key strategic partners including Alzheimer’s Society, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. We remain concerned about the worrying trend of the inappropriate use of antipsychotics and continue to call for the changes highlighted in our 2016 policy, Improving Medicines Use for Care Home Residents.
“We are pleased that the action plan is clear that antipsychotic medication should only be seen as short term intervention for people with dementia, requiring careful audit and monitoring to ensure compliance with NICE guidelines. We also welcome a commitment that the Government will respond to the recommendations of the Welsh Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport’s Committee’s Inquiry into the use of antipsychotic medication in care homes. RPS Wales has contributed to this important inquiry and attended committee inquiry sessions to speak directly to AMs about the implications of using antipsychotic medication in care homes. We await the recommendations of the Health Committee’s inquiry and will continue our calls for urgent action to be taken.”

To keep up to date with all of our influencing and campaigning activity, don’t forget to follow us on twitter, like our Facebook page and regularly check the RPS Wales blog