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Learning Difficulties (Adults)

Mr. Doran: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his policy regarding future provision of residential care for adults with learning difficulties; and if he will make a statement. [12699]

Mr. Galbraith: The way in which people with learning difficulties are cared for, including where they live, is best determined by what best meets their needs. Local authorities, in consultation with their planning partners, will continue to have responsibility for ensuring that an appropriate range and volume of community care services are in place to respond to individuals' assessed needs and local circumstances. This includes residential accommodation for people with learning disabilities.

The Department of Health has commissioned research into the costs and outcomes of various types of residential accommodation for people with learning disabilities in England and Ireland. The research is expected to be completed around the end of 1998. We will give careful consideration to the findings.

Constables (Oath)

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish the oath taken by constables in Scotland and give the reasons why it differs from the oath taken in (a) England and Wales and (b) Northern Ireland. [12308]

Mr. McLeish: A person appointed to the office of constable of a police force in Scotland is required to make the following declaration, prescribed in regulation 10 of the Police (Scotland) Regulations 1976, before a sheriff or justice of the peace:
"I hereby do solemnly and sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of constable."

29 Oct 1997 : Column: 834

It differs from the oath in England and Wales, or the declaration in Northern Ireland, because ir derives from separate Scottish legislation. The declaration, largely in its current form, was first given statutory force by the Police (Scotland) Act 1857.


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what follow-up action has been taken in respect of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report on Ecstasy misuse. [12855]

Mr. Galbraith: The results of this work were made known to Parliament on 28 February 1997 in a written answer to the hon. Member for Essex, North (Mr. Jenkin), Official Report, columns 442-43. The Government are using the Advisory Council's advice to inform work on future drug education strategies and campaigns and ensure that messages and advice for young people and parents about the risks associated with Ecstasy are as well informed and accurate as possible. The information was shared with the Health Education Board for Scotland, The Scottish Advisory Committee on Drug Misuse and the Scottish Against Drugs Campaign.

Food Poisoning

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his Department's letter of 21 March, Ref. MMM 51837, what were the results of the research on the fingerprinting methods based on DNA technology in relation to E. coli. [12856]

Mr. Chisholm: Although the Department has not yet received final reports for these projects, interim results obtained from the two groups indicate that using a combination of different methods, both phenotypic and genotypic (DNA-based) isolates from three Scottish E.coli 0157 outbreaks--West Lothian, Central Scotland and Highland--although closely related were distinguishable from each other.

Kidney Services

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his letter of 19 August, when he expects to receive the result of the consideration by the sub-group on renal services in respect of (a) organ donation rates, (b) the quality of organs retrieved and (c) the effectiveness of the retrieval arrangements. [12859]

Mr. Galbraith: The Renal Disease Sub-Group is part of the Acute Services Review which is chaired by the Chief Medical Officer at The Scottish Office Department of Health. The Sub-Group's recommendations will be taken into account in the report which the Review is expected to present to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland in May 1998.