Campaign Response: Down's Syndrome and Dr Liam Fox's Private Members' Bill

I have been contacted by constituents about Down's Syndrome and Dr Liam Fox's Private Members' Bill.

As the Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes South, I have included below my response:

Most people with Down's syndrome can lead healthy, active and more independent lives, achieving more than ever before. However, I do recognise that people with Down's syndrome can face significant challenges across all stages of life and it is right that the Government considers how to help make sure their specific needs are recognised and considered. That is why I fully support Dr Liam Fox’s Down Syndrome Private Members’ Bill, and I am delighted the Government does too. I was glad that I had the opportunity to meet with the National Down Syndrome Policy Group in Parliament to learn more about their campaign.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need to improve access to services for people with Down's syndrome. The Down Syndrome Bill will require the Secretary of State to publish guidance to public bodies to ensure they are clear on how they should meet the needs of people with Down's syndrome. It will set out best practice across health, education social care and housing, giving practical advice on how the appropriate steps can be taken to meet the needs of those with Down's syndrome when planning, designing and delivering services.

It is especially welcome that the Government will consult widely on the proposed guidance, ensuring the voices of those with Down syndrome, their families and carers are heard, and that the guidance is fit for purpose. This, I believe, is essential.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the work of my colleague and friend, Dr Liam Fox, in bringing forward this important Bill. I look forward to seeing its passage through Parliament and can assure you that the Bill has my full support.