North East MP backs world-first Down syndrome bill ahead of second reading

North East MP Andrew Bowie has backed a Parliamentary Bill that could transform the lives of people living with Down syndrome across the UK.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:45 am
Andrew is pictured with Dr Fox and NDSPG representatives Freddie and Max.

The Down Syndrome Bill was introduced by Dr Liam Fox and had hits second reading in the House of Commons on Friday, (November 26).

Dr Fox said the prospective Down Syndrome Act 2022 would be the first legislation of its kind in the UK and internationally.

The bill has three clauses, forcing education, health and local authorities in England to take people with an extra chromosome into account when providing services. It has been welcomed by the charity Down’s Syndrome Scotland over hopes that it will establish a national strategy for equality in all parts of the UK.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Mr Bowie said: “This first-of-its-kind legislation will undoubtedly drive change in all parts of the UK – putting people with Down syndrome and their families at the heart of decisions, rather than leaving them as bystanders.

“For the first time, people with Down syndrome are beginning to outlive their parents. If we do not make provisions for this then there will be tragic consequences in social care.

“Not only do we have an opportunity to address this situation, but we can go much further ensuring those with Down syndrome can access the same services as everyone.

"I am delighted to be supporting the Down Syndrome Bill."