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Press release – Dr Liam Fox MP introduces Down Syndrome Bill to improve life outcomes

Press release - Dr Liam Fox MP introduces Down Syndrome Bill to improve life outcomes

16 Jun Press release – Dr Liam Fox MP introduces Down Syndrome Bill to improve life outcomes

Press release for immediate release 

Dr Liam Fox MP introduces Down Syndrome Bill to improve life outcomes

A Down Syndrome Bill is to be introduced to Westminster by Dr Liam Fox MP in the next Parliamentary session later this year. 

If successful, it will lead to the establishment of a Down Syndrome Act and a national strategy to improve provision and outcomes for all those living with Down syndrome in the UK. 

The Autism Act which became law in 2009 preceded the establishment of the national strategy to help meet the needs of adults with autistic spectrum conditions in England. 

The Down Syndrome Act will go further, identifying needs in all areas, for all individuals with Down syndrome across the whole of the UK.  This will encompass, amongst other areas, maternity care, education, health, social care and employment.

The National Down Syndrome Policy Group, in coalition with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Down Syndrome, has been lobbying for the long overdue Down Syndrome Act and have released a film featuring trustees who have Down syndrome, highlighting some of the areas where they hope to see positive change in the future. Launch of The Down Syndrome Bill – YouTube 

Dr Liam Fox MP, the Down Syndrome Bill Sponsor said: 

“I am thrilled to bring forward a Bill to deal with the issues faced by those with Down syndrome.  The full title is ‘A Bill to make provision about meeting the needs of persons with Down syndrome; to place a duty on local authorities to assess the likely social care needs of persons with Down syndrome and plan provision accordingly; and for connected purposes’.”

“My aim is to deal with three main areas.  The first is to de-stigmatise Down syndrome and to re-educate both the public and professionals about the advances, including in life expectancy, that have occurred in recent decades.  The second is to ensure that current provision of services is improved, whether provided by health, education or local services, by ensuring that providers give due consideration to those with Down syndrome when designing service provision.  The third is to look ahead and deal with future issues, such as long-term care, in an era where, for the first time, many of those with Down syndrome will outlive their parents.  By giving due thought to the issues today we can prevent avoidable human tragedies in the future.” 

Actor and Trustee for the National Down Syndrome Policy Group (NDSPG) George Webster said:

“A Down Syndrome Act. Why didn’t we think of this before?!”

“We are all very excited that Dr Liam Fox is sponsoring a Bill with the aim of improving the lives of people living with Down syndrome.”

“I would like to see the Bill becoming law, then I think everyone like me with Down Syndrome will get better healthcare, more access to services and be more included in society. It is possible. It happens for some now, but it shouldn’t be a lottery. “ 

Peter Brackett, Chair of the NDSPG said:

“For too long the voice of the Down syndrome community has not been heard. We are delighted that the Down Syndrome Bill will enable engagement to secure and safeguard the rights and ambitions of the community across all aspects of society.”

“Having lobbied hard for this opportunity, our group will be fully behind Dr Liam Fox and the Down Syndrome Bill on its journey through Parliament, in line with our aim of raising the profile of issues affecting people with Down syndrome, their families and carers.” 

ENDS

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