Statement on the Coroner’s report into the death of Samantha Ashkar

The DSA are horrified to hear of the circumstances surrounding the death of Samantha Ashkar. The family were members and are well known to the DSA. Samantha had a number of health issues and died in hospital in 2015. The poor care received during her time in hospital has been under investigation, and the Coroner reported on the issues raised this week. The Coroner concluded that Samantha died from natural causes, contributed to by neglect.

Yet again poor medical and nursing care is contributing to the death of  people with Down’s syndrome. Poor knowledge of the condition and the associated medical issues, a lack of resources to manage often complex health needs and discrimination within the healthcare system, result in inadequate health care for many people with Down’s syndrome.

The DSA continues to campaign for better health care here in the UK for those with Down’s syndrome.

We are currently working together with an international team of medical experts on guidelines to support the health of people with Down’s syndrome, by creating evidence-based clinical guidelines for specific medical issues which greatly impact this population. We will campaign to have these guidelines accepted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and implemented in the UK

We are updating the information available to health professionals and have recently developed a forum specifically for health care professionals to talk to us and others with expertise in Down’s syndrome to share good practice and ask questions.