Amendment 5

Part of Health and Care Bill - Committee (Day 1) – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 11th January 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Harding of Winscombe Baroness Harding of Winscombe Conservative 6:15 pm, 11th January 2022

My Lords, I too support this group of amendments, both the parity of esteem words and the funding actions that make it up. I will briefly address the possible objections to it: first, it is not necessary because the Secretary of State already has a duty to maintain parity of esteem; secondly, as I think the noble Baroness, Lady Tyler, mentioned, this is culture change and legislation cannot drive that. In this case, actions speak louder than words. Being clear on the financial actions, as the amendments of the noble Lord, Lord Stevens, are, is a hugely important step on our culture journey.

Even though actions speak louder than words, the words matter too. They particularly matter when, as so many noble Lords have said so eloquently, mental health is so easily forgotten. It is all too easy to forget the hidden pain, anguish and need. I fear it is still far too easy to forget the hidden waiting lists. The words in this group of amendments are just as important as the actions, to make sure that we do not forget and build on the ground-breaking work that many, like the noble Baroness, Lady Hollins, have led for decades. We are on that journey, but we are definitely not there. I urge my noble friend to consider and accept these amendments.