Improving Services For Individuals With Down's Syndrome

Published date09 July 2021
Subject MatterConsumer Protection, Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Education
Law FirmShoosmiths
AuthorMs Guv Samra

Improving services for individuals with Down's Syndrome

MP Dr Liam Fox provided his support to a draft bill recently placed before parliament focusing on individuals with Down's Syndrome. He has been working on the bill with a Down's Syndrome Association in Portsmouth.

If the draft bill passes through parliament and receives royal assent, the Down's Syndrome Act will come into force. Its focus is on improving provision for those with Down's Syndrome which includes education, health, social care and employment.

The draft bill follows the Autism Act introduced in 2009 which focused on meeting the needs of adults with autistic spectrum conditions in England. If passed, the Down's Syndrome Act will cover all individuals (children and adults) with Down's Syndrome across the whole of the UK.

This is a hugely positive development as the Act will ensure the provision of support from a young age to adulthood, with provision and services being specifically tailored to meet the needs of individuals with Down's Syndrome. It will help to facilitate the transition from childhood to adulthood to enable access to the workplace and independence in their adult lives. Consideration will also be given to the long-term care that may be required by some individuals who will now outlive their parents due to advancements in life expectancy.

The Act will aim to educate and train professionals to improve the design and delivery of service provision to adults and children with Down's Syndrome.

Gurvinder Samra, education law specialist solicitor comments:

"The draft bill is extremely promising in theory and is a sign of hope for many individuals and their families, however, translating theory to practice can often lead to difficulties. These difficulties often arise from the interactions between different bodies within local...

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