Health

We know that there is a need to address health inequalities and improve health outcomes for people with Down’s syndrome across Scotland.

Keeping healthy is important for everyone but for many reasons, people with Down’s syndrome can have poorer health than others.  We know that many of the common causes of poor health in people with Down’s syndrome are preventable or treatable but people with Down’s syndrome aren’t always having regular health checks. People with Down’s syndrome are living longer but life expectancy remains more than 20 years lower than for the general population.  

In 2017 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. 

In England annual health checks for people with learning disabilities were introduced in 2009 and this has led to better detection of unmet, unrecognised and potentially treatable health needs (including serious and life-threatening conditions such as cancer, heart disease and dementia) and to targeted actions to address these health needs.

For all these reasons we believe that annual health checks should be available and encouraged for children and adults with Down’s syndrome in Scotland. 

Follow our campaign to find out how we plan to help make this happen.

Our 4 Big Issues

Employment

We know that lots of people with Down’s syndrome who want to work, don’t have a paid job. In fact, in Scotland only around 7% of people with learning disabilities are in paid work compared with 74% of the general population.

Health

We know that there is a need to address health inequalities and improve health outcomes for people with Down’s syndrome across Scotland.

Transition

We need to improve the experience of transitions for young people with Down’s syndrome. All children and young people face challenges as they move through education and into adult life but for those with Down’s syndrome there are some extra hurdles.

Community

People with Down’s syndrome tell us they want to be active members of their communities, they want to be visible, valued and included. And we know they have so much to give!