§ 4. Mr. Proctor
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the further progress of implementation of the Mental Health Act 1983.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
Implementation of the Mental Health Act is continuing in a satisfactory manner.
§ Mr. Proctor
In view of the need to have sufficient approved social workers by 21 October for the purposes of the Act, will my right hon. and learned Friend say something about the outcome of the working party, comprising NALGO, the local authorities and his Department, to resolve the dispute on this matter?
§ Mr. Clarke
I agree that it is important to have approved social workers, as the House decided when it passed the Act. It is unfortunate that NALGO is trying to encourage its members not to go on courses. I find it impossible to understand NALGO's objection. I believe that it thinks it is elitist for certain social workers to be described as approved social workers. I hope that the working party overcomes its difficulty and that we achieve the full working of the Act, as Parliament intended, by the due date.