Therapy-based treatment focus allows specialist hospital to reduce use of anti-psychotic medication

A specialist Newport hospital which prides itself on its evidence-based treatment focus has reported that it has been able to reduce its use of anti-psychotic medication for 40% of its new patients over the past 12 months.

St Peter’s Hospital in Langstone, which is owned and run by specialist healthcare provider, Ludlow Street Healthcare, offers assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for men and women with complex neuropsychiatric conditions, including Dementia, Huntington’s Disease and Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI).

The hospital, which offers 51 beds across single-gender units, is committed to reducing patients’ reliance on drugs by introducing them to a wide range of non-pharmacological therapies.

St Peter’s uses an onsite multi-disciplinary team including psychologists, psychiatrists and an extensive group of therapists including dietetics, physiotherapy and speech and language specialists. Its treatments include life stories work and reminiscence therapy, music therapy, even pet therapy.

Dr Kumi Pillay, Consultant Psychiatrist at St Peter’s, said: “Our objective is to tailor a bespoke treatment plan which aims to reduce distress, promote independence and reduces the risks patients pose to themselves and others, while simultaneously lessening the need for medication which could bring with it further complications.

“Many of our patients have physical co-morbidities (such as diabetes, hypertension) and as a consequence, the medication that is used to manage behaviours that challenge, could pose a risk to physical health if not prescribed cautiously and under expert supervision.

“We aim to tailor our non-pharmacological therapies in accordance with an individual’s needs. We don’t try and fit the patient to the therapies on offer, it’s the other way round. There are plenty of interventions out there but if they’re not meaningful to the person, they won’t have the impact we desire.

“Non-pharmacological interventions count for much of our success with patients. Reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs can have a myriad of benefits including reducing risk of falls, improving people’s general well-being, improvement in appetite, and better mobility.

“We are constantly reviewing our approach and assessing what does work and what doesn’t. We are always ready to change things, adhering to the necessary evidence base as we go.”

Sarah House, Operations Director, said: “Our journey with a patient starts before the patient even arrives. At the point of referral, we will do a complete pre-admission assessment where we speak to the family, the current care provider and the patient themselves to get a full picture of who the person was before their illness.

“Building up this picture of the person is so important because when we are presented with a patient, we can see the symptoms which are causing the challenge, but we need to know what life was like before and what they valued to be able to design treatments that will work for the individual.

“Our team works extremely hard to cut down patients’ medication requirements and to see such a marked reduction within such a short period is testament to the success of their approach.”

St Peter’s recently underwent a significant programme of investment which involved the creation of an additional 12 ensuite rooms, a new family room and modern communal area to ensure the hospital’s patient offering remains second-to-none.

St Peter’s Hospital is owned and run by healthcare specialists, Ludlow Street Healthcare. Established in 2005, Ludlow Street Healthcare has supported and cared for over 800 people. More information about St Peter’s Hospital and Ludlow Street Healthcare is available on their website