§ Mr. Robin Cook
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence led to the conclusion in the preface to the Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice laid before the House on 5 December that most of the guidance in the code has no resource implications; and what steps are being taken to ensure that adequate resources will be provided for those parts of the code which require them.
§ Mr. Freeman
The code covers matters which are part of the daily work of thousands of health and social services 709W staff. We have no systematic evidence as to how much of the practice of all these staff is in conformity with the recommendations, but believe that many of the recommendations represent common practice. Where this is not the case, changing current practice will sometimes be possible without additional resources. Where new resources are required, authorities must judge the pace at which the changes can be introduced, as we have no plans to make resources available specifically to enable the code to be implemented.