The House of Lords addressed mental health policy in the latest detailed scrutiny of the Health and Social Care Bill on 8 February. An amendment focusing on clarifying illness as both mental and physical was agreed to by 244 votes to 240 – resulting in a government defeat
Lord Patel (Crossbench) moved Amendment 1 to make 'clear that the Secretary of State is fully committed to improving the nation's mental health services and the prevention and treatment of mental and physical illness...'
Lord Patel informed the House that: 'More than one-fifth of the population in England experiences a mental disorder at any one time. An even larger proportion experiences sub-threshold mental disorder. Almost half of adults experience at least one episode of depression during their lifetime. only a quarter of affected individuals receive any intervention.'
He argued: 'Health and social care policy should be developed with mental as well as physical health needs in mind.'
The bill will be scrutinised further on Monday 13 February.
Health and Social Care Bill: Key areas
- Establishes an independent NHS Board to allocate resources and provide commissioning guidance.
- Increases GPs’ powers to commission services on behalf of their patients.
- Strengthens the role of the Care Quality Commission.
- Develops Monitor, the body that currently regulates NHS foundation trusts, into an economic regulator to oversee aspects of access and competition in the NHS.
- Cuts the number of health bodies to help meet the government's commitment to cut NHS administration costs by a third, including abolishing Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities.
Catch up on the Health and Social Care Bill so far
The House of Lords Constitution Committee report
The Constitution Committee published a follow-up report calling for changes to the Health and Social Care Bill to ensure that ministerial responsibility to Parliament and legal accountability for the NHS are not diluted.
What is the report stage?
Report stage in the chamber gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to consider all amendments (proposals for change) to a bill. It usually starts at least 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).
Before report stage takes place
- The day before report stage starts, amendments are published in a Marshalled List – in which all the amendments are placed in order.
- On the day, amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a list (“groupings of amendments”) is published.
What happens at report stage?
- Detailed line by line examination of the bill continues.
- Votes can take place and any member can take part.
After report stage - third reading
- If the bill is amended it is reprinted to include all the agreed amendments.
- The bill moves to third reading for the final chance for the Lords to debate and amend the bill.
- More about third reading.
Detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill takes place during report stage.
Find out more about watching House of Lords debates.