HC Deb 19 November 1992 vol 214 cc389-90W
Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on progress towards establishing her Department's NHS superannuation branch as an executive agency.

Mr. Sackville

We are pleased to announce that the NHS superannuation branch will be established as the NHS Pensions Agency on 20 November. The agency will administer the NHS occupational pension schemes for England and Wales. Its detailed objectives and functions are set out in a policy and resources framework document, copies of which are available in the Library.

The chief executive has been set the following key performance targets for the remainder of 1992–93:

1. Service Standards

a. Pension awards to be cleared:

  1. (i) Within four weeks of receipt of application from employer: 89 per cent.*
  2. (ii) Within eight weeks of receipt of application from employer 99 per cent.*

b. Pension age estimates for non-practitioners to be cleared:

  1. (i) Within four weeks of request: 68 per cent.
  2. (ii) Within eight weeks of request: 99 per cent.

c. Pensions age estimates for practitioners to be cleared:

  1. (i) Within six weeks of request: 71 per cent.
  2. (ii) Within eight weeks of request: 99 per cent.

d. Transfer payments to he made:

  1. (i) Within eight weeks of application: 95 per cent.
  2. (ii) Within 10 weeks of application: 99 per cent.

* for incapacity awards the periods start from confirmation of medical incapacity.

2. Efficiency improvements

To deliver at least 2 per cent. efficiency gains in keeping with agreed 1992–93 running costs budget.

3. New efficiency indicators

By January 1993, to develop at least one of the output measures needed to construct an overall corporate efficiency indicator for the agency.

4. New quality indicators

a. By 31 January 1993, to develop a statistical sampling method to provide a sound indicator of the level of accuracy in award and transfer calculations.

b. By 31 December 1992, to complete a customer satisfaction survey for major agency outputs.

5. Value for money review

By 31 January 1993, to undertake a review of agency activities, and services used by the agency, to determine a market testing programme for inclusion in the 1993–94 business plan.

6. Organisational effectiveness review

By 31 January 1993, to complete the first review of agency structure and organisation and to identify a preliminary programme for improving effectiveness for stakeholders in he Agency's services.

7. Support systems review

By 31 January 1993, to provide an information systems strategy to support the agency's corporate, business and management objectives.

8. Citizen's charter

By 31 March 1993, to propose new mechanisms for registering stakeholders' views on agency services.

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