Expert warns over use of medication

The Scottish Care Commission has been urged to ensure its
inspection teams do not to put pressure on care home staff to
maintain older people with mental health problems on overly high
levels of medication.

Dr Peter Connelly, consultant in old age psychiatry at the Murray
Royal Hospital in Perth, said research in Tayside in the 1990s
showed that residents were twice as likely to be on anti-psychotic
drugs if they were in nursing homes than if they were in long-stay
psychiatric wards.

He was speaking last week at the national conference of Alzheimer
Scotland – Action Against Dementia in Stirling.

He warned that care home managers might feel under pressure, in
order to meet national standards, “to use anti-psychotic drugs to
modify the behaviour of residents for fear of inspections teams
telling them they had to be moved [to more specialist homes]”.

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