Second National Audit of Schizophrenia highlights lack of progress for service users and carers

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André Tomlin summarises the second National Audit of Schizophrenia, which highlights that many people with schizophrenia are still not getting the high quality psychological and medical treatment they deserve.

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Monitoring for metabolic syndrome in people with learning disabilities prescribed anti-psychotic medication found to be below agreed minimum standards

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Anti-psychotic medications comprise between 30–50% of all psychotropics prescribed for people with learning disabilities. One of the potential side effects is metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes in people with learning disabilities who have been prescribed antipsychotic medication.) [read the full story…]

Community Treatment Orders used differently for people with learning disabilities

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Community Treatments Orders (CTOs) were introduced to enable people who had been detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act 1983 to be discharged from the hospital and treated in the community. The supervising doctor however retains the power to recall that person to hospital if necessary The majority of studies into the use [read the full story…]

People with learning disabilities still not getting adequate information and support to make decisions about medications

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Making the decision to consent to medical treatment requires access to information, presented in clear and understandable ways. There is evidence that that people with learning disabilities do not always understand information about medications they are prescribed, for example from the medication matters project carried out at the Norah Fry centre  which produced a series of [read the full story…]

National Schizophrenia Audit calls for improved monitoring of physical health in people with schizophrenia

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Back in 2010, NICE published an updated edition of their schizophrenia guideline, to guide the treatment and management of patients with schizophrenia in primary and secondary care. The National Schizophrenia Audit is a new initiative led by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and involving 8 other partner organisations including various professional membership organisations and 2 [read the full story…]

Teaching GPs about depression and suicide can help reduce the risk of suicide in depressed older adults, says new RCT

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A great deal of time and money has been spent on improving the diagnosis and management of depression and self-harm in primary care. The evidence tells us that collaborative care and case management can be effective approaches, which is all well and good, but these complex interventions are not always feasible. This new cluster randomised [read the full story…]

Physical interventions governance audit identifies value of multi disciplinary overview

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The use of physical interventions for people with learning disabilities must be within a locally agreed policy framework and as a last resort. Commissioners of services need to be assured that their use is appropriate and that good quality monitoring is taking place. The researchers in this study looked at the work of good practice [read the full story…]

Antipsychotics continue to be used for challenging behaviour in learning disabilities with poor monitoring of side effects

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People with learning disabilities are often prescribed anti-psychotic medication, whether or not there has been a diagnosis of psychiatric disorder. There continues to be some concern about the evidence base to support this. The most recent Cochrane review which looked at the issue in relation to people with learning disabilities and schizophrenia found that there is [read the full story…]

Use of behaviour consultants reduced restrictive intervention in people learning disability and challenging behaviour

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Behaviour support plans to guide the way supporters respond and react to people with learning disabilities who are described as having behaviour that challenges are fundamental to the quality of support they receive. The authors of this Australian study were interested in looking at the quality of the plans and their effectiveness in providing support. [read the full story…]

Significant improvements needed to care for people with dementia in hospital, says national clinical audit

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The first full report of the National Audit of Dementia has identified a need for significant improvements in hospital ward environments, staff training and the overall approach to care delivery for patients with dementia. Although the majority of wards meet basic safety requirements, the audit shows that many had not addressed simple measures that could [read the full story…]