Turning Point’s Fiona Ritchie responds to PHE report on prescribing for adults with learning disabilities

News item posted: 19 June 2017

A new study by Public Health England (PHE) finds 1 in 6 adults with a learning disability is being prescribed anti-psychotic drugs by their GP that are normally used to treat major mental illnesses. Over half of these adults do not have a recorded diagnosis of a condition they are designed to treat.

Responding to the report, Fiona Ritchie OBE, Managing Director for Learning Disability Services at Turning Point said:

“It is concerning that individuals may be prescribed medication they do not need. It is important that health professionals, particularly GPs, provide person centred care to all of their patients including people with learning disabilities, not just give them a prescription which may be wholly avoidable if people get the right support in the first place. 

“This kind of practice highlights the disparity that exists within the health service towards those with a learning disability which must be addressed swiftly, through improved training and a greater understanding of the support people with learning disabilities need.”