Thank you for contacting me about the Down Syndrome Act.
I know that with appropriate help and support, most people with Down syndrome lead healthy, active and more independent lives, achieving more than ever before. I do recognise, however, that those with Down syndrome face significant challenges across all stages of life.
The Down Syndrome Act requires the Secretary of State to publish guidance to public bodies to ensure they are clear on how they should meet the needs of people with Down syndrome. The guidance will set out best practice across health, education social care and housing, giving practical advice on how the appropriate steps can be taken to meet the needs of those with Down's syndrome when planning, designing and delivering services. I warmly welcome the Government’s commitment to having a named lead on future Integrated Care Boards who will be responsible for the implementation of guidance, which will go a long way towards ensuring that the guidance is implemented fully and as intended. The guidance will also be laid before Parliament, giving us the opportunity to scrutinise it and look, in real time, at how it is working.
It is essential that the voices of those with Down syndrome, their families and their carers are heard, and that the guidance is fit for purpose. I am glad therefore that the Government will be consulting widely on the proposed guidance.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the work of my colleague Dr Liam Fox in bringing forward, and leading through Parliament, this important Act.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking