Supporting treatment and appropriate medication in paediatrics - our pledge

We have worked with NHS England on a programme to ensure children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both are able to access appropriate medication, and are not prescribed inappropriate psychotropic medication. Find out more and read our full pledge.

In 2017 RCPCH was approached by NHS England to support the Stopping the Overmedication of People (STOMP) programme which relates to the overmedication of adults with learning disability, autism or both.

Following this work, there was a need to develop a programme specifically for children and young people with learning disabilities and autism to ensure that they are receiving the necessary medication. Therefore, the STAMP (Supporting Treatment and Appropriate Medication in Paediatrics) programme was developed.

This work culminated on the 3 December 2019 at the launch of the STOMP-STAMP at our head office in London. We were delighted to welcome families, healthcare professionals, patient groups and representatives to discuss the relevant issues and sign the pledge below.

The STAMP programme is designed to...

  1. Make the lives of children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both who are prescribed psychotropic medications better
  2. Make sure that children and young people who need medication can get it for the right reason, in the right amount for as short a time as possible
  3. Help people to understand more about these medications and have the confidence to ask why they are needed
  4. Make more non-medication treatments and support available.
  5. Make sure the person with their family and paid carers are involved in any decisions to start, stop, reduce or continue taking them.
  6. Get more children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both to have an annual health check starting from the age of 14

Our pledge

We pledge to ensure that children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both are able to access appropriate medication (in line with NICE guidance), but are not prescribed inappropriate psychotropic medication. Regular and timely reviews should be undertaken so that the effectiveness of the medication is evident and balanced against potential side effects. This will mean that children and young people are only getting the right medication, at the right time, for the right reason.

We, the undersigned, pledge to work together with children and young people with a learning disability, autism or both and their parents, carers and families, to take measurable steps to ensure that children and young people only receive medication that effectively improves their lives.

We pledge to set out the actions that our individual organisations will take towards this shared aim and report regularly on the progress we have made, ensuring that we can be held to account.

Signed by: Professor Anne Greenough (RCPCH), Dr Hillary Cass, (The British Association of Childhood Disability), Dame Christine Lenehan (The Council for Disabled Children)