We have known that there is a pressing need to address health inequalities and improve health outcomes for people with Down’s syndrome across Scotland. That need has become even more acute as people with Down’s syndrome were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeping healthy is important for everyone but for many reasons, people with Down’s syndrome can have poorer health outcomes than others. Despite the fact that we have made some progress in recent years, people with a learning disability still have a life expectancy 20 years lower than the general population and we now know that children and young people with learning disabilities are at a much higher risk of premature death when compared to the general population. In many of these instances, it is also clear that many deaths are preventable.
Having a regular health check, ideally annually, is one possible way of getting in front of this shameful statistic
We surveyed our members about their healthcare experiences. We found that people with Down’s syndrome and their parents wanted more information about health conditions and weren’t always aware of recommended health checks.
We want clinicians, health professionals, GPs and everyone involved in promoting good health outcomes to #TakeAStepForward with us and support the call for annual health checks to be available and encouraged for children and adults with Down’s syndrome in Scotland. We also want everyone involved in sport, recreation, leisure and the arts to consider what role they can play in supporting our community to become more active, more often.
Get in touch at takeastepforward.org.uk to discuss how you can get involved.