To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will consider the need for district health authorities to ensure adequate cover in their areas of medical practices approved for the purposes of section 12 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in provision of timely attendance to patients requiring examination consequent to sections 2 and 3 of the Act. 
Regional directors of public health are currently responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient suitably trained and experienced doctors approved under the Act. We are satisfied that these requirements are being properly met. From April 1996 the responsibility will pass to health authorities. We will be issuing guidance on the new arrangements shortly.