asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce legislation to enable area dental officers working within the National Health Service to examine and treat mentally handicapped adults at adult training centres.
Legislation is not necessary but, as I told my hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Pavitt) on 26th October—[Vol. 936, c. 743]—I and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales intend to make a direction authorising health authorities, at their discretion and if they have the spare capacity to do so, to treat the adult handicapped. The consultation necessary for the introduction of these arrangements is now under way.