Stopping the over medication of people with a learning disability, autism or both in multicultural settings – (MC STOMP).

tow people talking in sign language


The national STOMP agenda takes its name from its core objective of stopping excessive use of psychotropic medicines to manage challenging behaviour in people with Learning Disability and/or Autism.

The West Midlands is diverse and includes many of the most challenged, deprived, and vulnerable communities in the country. Evidence suggests that the COVID-19 lockdown caused an increase in medication interventions to manage mental health and behavioural issues in people with a learning disability and/or autism.

People from black and ethnic minorities are over-represented in mental health pathways, meaning they are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness and more likely to receive  treatment with psychotropic medicines , which in some cases may not be appropriate. 

At Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust (BCHC) working experience has shown that some people from ethnic minority backgrounds experienced:

  • Difficulty reporting and recording behaviours 

  • Difficulty engaging with and accessing non-pharmacological strategies 

  • An increase in prescribing of medication first-line for challenging behaviour 

  • Language barriers: communication is crucial in establishing the aetiology of behaviours of concern, which guides appropriate management; overcome through multilinguistic skills are not readily available within teams 

What were the aims of MC STOMP?

Multicultural STOMP (MC-STOMP) has been developed for people from an ethnic minority background, which is the first initiative of its kind in the United Kingdom, to ensure that STOMP is available to everybody.  The MC STOMP project aimed to reduce overprescribing of antipsychotics by increasing structured medication reviews (SMR) in vulnerable communities across the West Midlands where patients are being prescribed psychotropic medication for learning disabilities and/or autism. It is encouraging the implementation of positive behavioural support plans as an alternative form of treatment. 

What did we do?

HIWM collaborated with a consultant psychiatrist from Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust to co-design, promote and host a virtual webinar. This created a platform for colleagues to connect, raise awareness, and share multi-lingual resources and quality improvement methods to support the implementation of MC STOMP.

The webinar had an attendance of 60 like-minded professionals across the West Midlands, and over two thirds requested access to the resources and webinar recording post-event. The webinar provided a valuable opportunity to connect, gain an understanding of MC STOMP and the campaign messages, and share resources and experiences for collaborative quality improvement in the field.

What were the outcomes?

Participants were asked to provide an evaluation of the session:

  • 82% were not already aware of the MC STOMP initiative prior to the webinar.
  • 60% stated that they found the webinar extremely relevant.
  • 81% stated they were very likely to use the MC STOMP resources shared.
  • 8 participants stated they would be interested in undertaking an MC STOMP QI project.
The West Midlands Health Innovation Network is now seeking further interventions to support appropriate prescribing of psychotropic medicines in vulnerable communities. If you would like to become involved, please contact our project manager Jordan Leith:

Click here to read more about NHS Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust’s work on MC STOMP.

A list of MC STOMP resources, including an easy read leaflet translated into eight languages, can be accessed here.