Eastwood MP pledges support for bid to improve lives of people with Down syndrome
Eastwood’s MP has shown his support for a new bill to help improve the lives of people with Down syndrome.
The Down Syndrome Bill has been introduced as Dr Liam Fox’s Private Members’ Bill.
Dr Fox was selected, for the first time in his 30 years as an MP, in the Private Members’ Ballot to bring forward a Bill of his own choosing for a parliamentary session – only 20 MPs each parliamentary session are drawn at random in the ballot.
Dr Fox, a former NHS Doctor and GP, decided to use this unique opportunity to bring forward the ‘Down Syndrome Bill’.
The idea is that the Down Syndrome Act 2022, as it will become, will improve provision and outcomes for all those living with Down syndrome in England.
This will encompass, among other areas, maternity care, education, health, social care and employment.
Dr Fox said: “My aim is to deal with three main areas. The first is to de-stigmatise Down syndrome. The second is to ensure that current provision of services is improved. 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.”
The National Down Syndrome Policy Group launched a new campaign in support of the Bill.
The ‘Stand Up for Down Syndrome’ campaign includes a Change.org petition, which has attracted the signatures of 30,283 people with Down syndrome, their families and supporters.
Dozens of constituents from the Ashfield and Eastwood area have written to their MP as part of the campaign urging him to support the Bill.
Many of those taking part in the campaign have shared photos of their children with Down syndrome on social media to help send a strong message about the importance of the Bill.
MP Lee Anderson said: “I am delighted to be supporting the Down Syndrome Bill.
“For the first time people with Down syndrome are beginning to outlive their parents and if we do not make provisions for this then there will be evitable human tragedies.
“Not only do we have an opportunity to address this situation, but we can go much further ensuring those with Down syndrome can access health, education and social care services.”