Amendment 5

Part of Health and Care Bill - Committee (Day 1) – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 11th January 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green 5:45 pm, 11th January 2022

My Lords, I rise as a member of the general public who can barely tell the difference between paracetamol and ibuprofen but does know, after all my years observing people, that people in good mental health often exhibit much better physical health as well, because they have more resilience, they are more aware of their physical health and they take measures to make themselves healthier. Parity of esteem is a beautiful concept because it does not sound competitive and the more we spend on mental health, the less we might have to spend on physical health. Therefore, it is a no-brainer. I am astonished that the Government did not put it in the Bill when it is such a well-known concept. I very much hope that the Minister will—[Interruption.] That was a Tory intervention and now there is a Labour intervention.

I understand that this is a huge challenge, but it is just smart, quite honestly. It offers us a chance to make a real positive change—a societal change for people. I also very much support Amendment 5 tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Stevens, and all the subsequent changes through the Bill, and Amendment 138, tabled by the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh of Pickering, which my noble friend Lady Bennett has also signed. I look forward to subsequent discussion with the Minister on this issue.