The Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare guideline launched

Introducing the new psychotropic medicines clinical care standard. 

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has released a new national Psychotropic Medicines in Cognitive Disability or Impairment Clinical Care Standard, designed to ensure safer, more effective treatment practices.

The College supports the use of this standard.

This Standard represents a significant milestone in health care, outlining clear steps to promote responsible and appropriate use of psychotropic medicines. While these medicines are often used to manage behaviours of concern such as aggression and agitation among people with cognitive impairment, the standard emphasises the importance of non-medication interventions as the primary method of addressing these behaviours.

Psychotropic medicines should only be considered for behaviours of concern as a last resort option when other strategies have failed or when there is a high risk of harm to the person or others. When they are used appropriately, regular monitoring, review and communication is essential to maintain patient safety.

The Standard has a strong emphasis on the need for individualised care plans that cater to each person’s unique needs. It also underscores the importance of collaboration with the person, their family, support people and others involved in the person’s care.

The Standard has been developed in response to concerning trends in the misuse and overuse of psychotropic medicines within the aged care and disability sectors. By providing practical guidance and encouraging consistent practices across all healthcare settings, the standard aims to improve the quality of care and enhance the overall well-being of people with cognitive disability or impairment.

The Standard has been endorsed by over 25 key professional and consumer organisations.

For more information and access to resources, visit the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.


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