Case study summary
Dimensions is one of the country’s largest not-for-profit organisations supporting people with a learning disability, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs. Staff have been committed to the Stopping over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both (STOMP) initiative since it began and are working with GPs to review all psychotropic prescriptions for people they support, with a view to reducing that medication where appropriate.
Graham (not his real name) is a 28 year old autistic man who was moved around various care organisations until he became supported by Dimensions in September 2016.
When he arrived he needed 24 hour, two to one support seven days a week with one member of staff sleeping in and one member of staff on a waking night.
Staff noticed that although he seemed settled in his new home and was managing to talk to staff when he was feeling low or upset he was also gaining weight and he seemed overly tired every day.
Graham’s doctor and support staff suggested a medication review and that led to a plan to reduce some of his medicines. Every four weeks the doctor meets with his parents and a member of staff to talk about how he has been since the reduction and when everyone feels that he is ready the plan is to reduce his medication further.
Graham’s parents also talked to the doctor about a diagnosis of Bipolar which he had from many years ago. His parents did not feel that this was right and went on to gather evidence for this which led to the diagnosis of Bipolar being taken away.
The support package Graham has is also changing, the waking night support isn’t needed anymore and his behaviour support has also been reduced from touch support to just talk down.
It is hoped that if all continues to go well he will only be supported on a two to one basis when going out in the car and attending activities but his time in his home will be reduced to only himself and one member of staff. If he continues to progress in the way in which he has done so far the long term goal is to be on the lowest level of medication needed and only to be supported on a 121 basis.
Graham has come a very long way, with a history of being moved from different placements and being supported by different care providers eventually seeing him in a secure unit with a false diagnosis of Bipolar and on a lot medication the future is now looking bright for Graham, his family and his support team.