"But the expert review - commissioned by ministers - said the treatment was unnecessary in nearly 150,000 cases and was linked to 1,800 deaths."
This is all well and good, but when one sees the prescription of anti-psychotic drugs in the context of a care system that has been almost entirely privatised and ground down to the very bare bones, then the government's sticky plaster of a response is nothing but pissing in the wind.
The government wants better access to other kinds of therapy, more training for care workers, more monitoring and a new national director. I wonder where all the money for this will magically appear from given the NHS' budget crisis?
Also it is strange that the government has done so very little to regulate the care industry in the UK in recent years. It used to be largely publicly owned, but after the last twenty years or so of destructive reforms, it is largely privately run for profit. This also means that the government cannot force changes upon the system anymore, as the private firms hold all the card in terms of ownership and lobbying power, they have been very resistant to proper regulation in recent years.
This has meant that many care homes are dangerously short staffed and the staff present are invariably not sufficiently trained for the jobs they do, the government watered down regulation changes a few years back that would have forced a maximum number of patients per staff member. No wonder anti-psychotics are being dished out like smarties, there simply has not been the right number of properly trained staff to adequately manage the most tricky patients with dementia.
The privatisation of a service that should be accountable to the public has led to it being run down in the name of profit. This government and previous governments have caused the care of our elderly to be so woefully neglected, they simply don't want to pay for people to be cared for properly to the grave. This report is yet another dishonest piece of spin designed to take attention away from their own failings.