HC Deb 27 March 1991 vol 188 c449W
Mr. Paice

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on progress establishing his Department's NHS estate directorate as an executive agency.

Mr. Dorrell

I am pleased to announce that the estates directorate will be established as the NHS estate management and health building agency on 1 April, the first executive agency in the Department of Health. The agency's roles are(a) to provide Ministers, the NHS management executive and the NHS with professional and technical policy advice and support in the fields of NHS estate management and health building, and (b) to develop and make available to NHS authorities, trusts and others a range of specialist guidance and other products and services which embody key national policies and standards and reflect current best NHS practice. The agency's detailed aims, objectives and functions are set out in a framework document, copies of which are available in the Library. In accordance with "next steps" principles the agency will be free to propose further adaptations to it if changing circumstances make this appropriate.

The chief executive has been set the following key performance targets for 1991–92: To keep within the 1991–92 agreed public expenditure survey baseline. To make at least a 2 per cent. efficiency saving on the operating costs that are within this control. To deliver 80 per cent. of all contracts on time and within estimated costs, which will then act as the baseline for further improvements in succeeding years. To agree the business plan and key performance targets with Ministers by 30 June 1991.

Over the next four years, in keeping with the spirit of the wider NHS reforms, I will be setting the agency a range of key performance targets to ensure that it delivers progressive improvements in the quality and efficiency of its services to the NHS.

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