67 MPs sign letter supporting Mental Health Bills

More than sixty MPs have signed a letter to the Prime Minister, authored by Rehman Chishti MP, supporting legislation to achieve parity of esteem for mental health.

The 67 cross party MPs have called on the Prime Minister and the Government to adopt two Private Members Bills, proposed by Rehman Chishti MP and supported by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Centre for Mental Health.

These Bills would improve access to mental health services and are scheduled to have their second reading in Parliament on Friday 20 November 2015.

Mr Chishti’s Bill on perinatal mental health would increase the number of specialist Mother and Baby Units in England, which offer vital specialist care. Titled the Perinatal Mental Illness (NHS Family Services) Bill it would ensure that every area in England provides sufficient beds so that mothers suffering from mental health can stay safely with their babies.

The Health Services Commissioning Bill proposed by Mr Chishti would force commissioners of health services to take full account of mental health needs when making decisions on care. They would have to make an annual report to the Secretary of State setting out how they have met mental health needs.

Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham, Rehman Chishti MP said:
"Whilst mental health has been officially recognised as having parity of esteem, there is some way to go to achieve it. These Bills, supported by 67 MPs from across the political spectrum, would bring us closer to achieving this goal and I hope that the Prime Minister and the Government can adopt these Bills and take a firm lead to make mental health a priority."

Full Text of Letter is below

Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister

RE: Support for Mental Health Bills

We, the undersigned, ask that the Government supports two Private Members Bills, put forward by Rehman Chishti MP, which aim to improve access to mental health services. They are scheduled to receive their Second Reading on Friday 20th November 2015.

Your leadership has been vital in ensuring that, for the first time, mental health was officially recognised by the NHS as having parity of esteem with physical health. However, there is still more to be done to make sure that this becomes a reality.

The Health Services Commissioning (Equality and Accountability) Bill would tackle the parity issue head on by challenge commissioners of health services to make an annual report to the Secretary of State setting out how they have met mental health needs. This Bill would ensure that commissioners of both mental and physical healthcare services must always consider how the services they commission meets the needs of people with mental illness and people with learning disabilities, and if not, explain why.

The Perinatal Mental Illness (NHS Families Services) Bill aims to end one area of weakness in mental health provision which would have been unthinkable it if was for a physical condition. This Bill would make sure that every area provides sufficient specialist beds so mothers suffering from mental health problems can stay safely with their babies.

Both Bills are being supported by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Centre for Mental Health.

With the NHS England Mental Health taskforce soon to report, we believe that this would be an excellent opportunity to take a lead to make mental health a priority.

Yours sincerely

Rehman Chishti MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham

Norman Lamb MP – Liberal Democrat
Member of Parliament for North Norfolk
Former Health Minister

Dr Daniel Poulter – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
Former Health Minister

Philippa Whitford MP - SNP
Member of Parliament for Central Ayrshire
Spokesperson on healthcare

Frank Field MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Birkenhead

Jonathan Edwards MP – Plaid Cymru
Member of Parliament for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

Richard Benyon MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Newbury

Ben Howlett MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Bath

Catherine West MP – Labour
Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green

Kelly Tolhurst MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood

Dr Lisa Cameron MP - SNP
Member of Parliament for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

Helen Whately MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Faversham and Mid Kent

Victoria Prentis MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Banbury

Heidi Allen MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for South Cambridgeshire

Alistair Carmichael MP – Liberal Democrat
Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland

Paul Blomfield MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

Jo Churchill MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds

Maria Caulfield MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Lewes

Tim Loughton MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for East Worthing and Shoreham

Nigel Adams MP- Conservative
Member of Parliament for Selby and Ainsty

Margaret Ritchie MP - SDLP
Member of Parliament for South Down

Ann Clwyd MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Cynon Valley

Peter Aldous MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Waveney

Sir David Amess MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Southend West

Paul Flynn MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Newport West

Amanda Solloway MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Derby North

Neil Carmichael MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Stroud

Tom Brake MP – Liberal Democrat
Member of Parliament for Carshalton and Wallington

Fiona Bruce MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Congleton

David Davis MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Haltemprice and Howden

Mark Durkan MP – SDLP
Member of Parliament for Foyle

Mary Glindon MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for North Tyneside

John Baron MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Basildon and Billericay

Caroline Spelman MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Meriden

Alasdair McDonnell MP - SDLP
Member of Parliament for Belfast South

Rebecca Harris MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Castle Point

Graham Brady MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Altrincham and Sale West

Mark Prisk MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Hertford and Stortford

Louise Haigh MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley

David Burrowes MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate

Oliver Colvile MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

Fabian Hamilton MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Leeds North East

John Glen MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Salisbury

Nigel Evans MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for the Ribble Valley

Dr Liam Fox MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for North Somerset

Kelvin Hopkins MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Luton North

Gordon Henderson MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Sittingbourne and Sheppey

Jeremy Lefroy MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Stafford

Khalid Mahmood MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Perry Barr

Marie Rimmer MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for St Helens South and Whiston

Stephen McPartland MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Stevenage

Andrew Rosindell MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Romford

Ian Mearns MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Gateshead

Madeleine Moon MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Bridgend

Ian Liddell-Grainger MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Bridgwater and West Somerset

Yasmin Qureshi MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Bolton South East

David Mackintosh MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Northampton South

James Morris MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Halesowen and Rowley Regis

Naseem Shah MP - Labour
Member of Parliament for Bradford West

Kit Malthouse MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for North West Hampshire

Caroline Nokes MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Romsey and Southampton North

Kevin Hollinrake MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Thirsk and Malton

Neil Parish MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton

Chloe Smith MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for Norwich North

Julian Sturdy MP - Conservative
Member of Parliament for York Outer

Mike Wood MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Dudley South

Flick Drummond MP – Conservative
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South