The Conservative Disability Group is delighted this morning to show our support towards Dr Liam Fox MP and his Down Syndrome Bill to Improve Life Outcomes.
Under the draft legislation, published this morning, the Bill ensures that those with Down Syndrome would be legally recognised as a specific group, assuring that their individual needs are better met.
Dr Liam Fox MP stated the following; “My aim is to deal with 3 main areas. The first is to de-stigmatise Down Syndrome and to reeducate both the public and professionals about the advances, including life expectancy, that have occurred in recent decades. The second is to ensure that current provision of services is improved, whether by health, education or 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”.
The Bill guarantees that, ratified by law, public services, such as; schools, the NHS, social care, local authorities and job centres, must meet the specific and individual needs of those with Down Syndrome in their community. Unfortunately, current legislation does not implement this separation, meaning that those with Down Syndrome are receiving public care, based off a classification of needs which do not relate to their specific requirements. As a result essential necessities for those with Down Syndrome are not being met. However, the proposed Bill, from Dr Liam Fox MP, echoes the changes brought in by the Autism Act (2009), and ensures that Down Syndrome is on a level field with other minority groups, securing much-needed and essential equal opportunities.
The consequential effects of the Down Syndrome Bill will be astronomically positive and long overdue. A demonstrable example of this is, due to public services been bound by law, standards of care and consideration will rise. Those with Down Syndrome will be open to attend the school of their choosing rather than automatically being sent to schools chosen on their behalf, as all schools and their teachers, will be required to ensure that they meet requirements to welcome those with Down Syndrome. Standards of care and living will increase, disability inclusivity will increase, public service effectiveness and education will increase, and most importantly, as a society we will be bound together in a more supportive and effective manner.
Many of our members will remember our fantastic event with Annabel Tall in the Spring, ‘Living with a Learning Disability,’ where she spoke educationally, eloquently and inspiringly to the Conservative Disability Group, about her son Freddie (pictured above). Dr Fox has openly cited the inspiration that he has drawn from his constituents and their loved ones, the Conservative Disability Group, wishes to extend their thanks to Annabel and Freddie, who through their fantastic work are impacting the positive progression towards disability inclusion.
With private Minister’s backing already being received, our members will be delighted to hear that, Fox states that he is confident that there is good chance The Down Syndrome Bill to Improve Life Outcomes will be enacted in time for World Down syndrome Day 2022. In conversation with The Times Newspaper, Fox stated “every so often you get the chance in politics to make meaningful change and that is what I intend to do”- a mantra echoed whole-heartedly by the CDG and its members. Dr Liam Fox MP, we whole-heartedly support the proposed Down Syndrome Bill and welcome with open arms and excitement the improvement of public services in relation to Down’s Syndrome to follow in the near future.
The second reading of the Down syndrome Bill to Improve Life Outcomes will take place on Friday 26th November 2021
Written by Celia Hensman on behalf of the Conservative Disability Group