This site is intended for health professionals only

Care homes chief points finger at GPs over “chemical cosh”

13 November 2009

Share this article

The chair of the National Care Homes Association has blamed GPs for prescribing dementia sufferers “chemical cosh” drugs.

A government-ordered report claimed that up to 150,000 people treated with the powerful drugs for dementia are given them unnecessarily.

Just one in five of those given the medicines in care homes and hospitals derive any benefit from them, it said.

Nadra Ahmed, Chairman of the National Care Homes Association, said the blame did not lie solely with care homes.

She said it was GPs who made the decision to prescribe dementia sufferers with anti-psychotic drugs.

She told BBC’s Today programme: “One of the things we need to get absolutely clear here is these drugs are prescribed by GPs. They are not prescribed by the care home providers. This is about medical conditions which are obviously reviewed by GPs.

“Very often what happens is that GPs are just not giving us enough time in our services to come and review the medication and people can be on this medication and once they’re on it, people, quite rightly, are reluctant to take them off.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

National Care Homes Association