Brendan Clarke-Smith Column: Delighted to show support for new Down’s Syndrome Bill
This week I am delighted to be joining other MPs across Parliament in supporting the Down’s Syndrome Bill.
The Down’s Syndrome Bill has been introduced by Dr Liam Fox MP as a Private Member’s Bill, which is an opportunity for an MP to bring forward a bill of their choosing.
Only twenty MPs each Parliamentary Session are drawn at random in a ballot to introduce a Private Member’s Bill. My colleague Dr Liam Fox, a former NHS doctor and GP, decided to use this opportunity to bring forward the Down’s Syndrome Bill to positively impact the lives of those living with Down’s syndrome.
For the first time, people with Down’s syndrome are beginning to outlive their parents. If we do not make provisions for this then there will be human tragedies. Not only do we have an opportunity to address this situation, but I believe that we can go much further ensuring those with Down’s syndrome can access health, education and social care services.
The Government is also supporting his bill, meaning that the Down’s Syndrome Act 2022 will improve the provision and outcomes for all those living with Down’s syndrome in England. Some provisions included in this, amongst other areas, are maternity care, education, health, social care and employment.
With the appropriate support, individuals with Down’s syndrome are going above and beyond, achieving fantastic things. For example, individuals are attending mainstream schools, passing exams, gaining employment, making significant contributions to their communities and living full lives.
Furthermore, with the appropriate medical support, individuals with Down’s syndrome are now living into their 50s, 60s and beyond.
The progress that has been made so far is astonishing, and I know that this bill strives to improve the lives of individuals with Down’s Syndrome even more. That is why I was more than happy to support Dr Liam Fox’s event promoting his Private Member’s Bill earlier this week.
It was a great opportunity to discuss in more detail the work he has been doing on this, and how it will positively impact individuals in Bassetlaw who have Down’s syndrome, and those who help support them.
I look forward to seeing the progress that is made from the introduction of this bill and will wholeheartedly support it as it progresses through Parliament.