The Health and Care Bill is being debated in Parliament. It will bring about significant changes to the way the NHS works and how it links with local government in England. That includes the creation of Integrated Care Boards, which will make decisions about how NHS funding is spent locally.
Centre for Mental Health has been working with other organisations to put forward changes to the bill to ensure it gives equal priority to mental health and reducing health inequalities. We want to ensure that the new integrated care boards take mental health as seriously as physical health and are accountable for tackling inequalities in their areas.
In January 2022, we produced a briefing jointly with the Mental Health Foundation in support of amendments to the bill when they were debated in the House of Lords. The briefing sets out why the amendments that were put forward were important and what impact they would have if accepted.
Since the briefing was published, the Government has put forward amendments to the bill which could help to boost ‘parity’ for mental health and give a bigger focus on health inequalities.
The bill is continuing its passage through Parliament, and we will continue to advocate for further changes to ensure the new system works as well as possible for the public’s mental health and for people living with mental health difficulties.