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Benefits Agency Medical Service

Volume 281: debated on Tuesday 16 July 1996

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many (a) full-time doctors, (b) part-time doctors and (c) civil servants are expected to be employed by the successful bidders for the Benefits Agency medical service; [36912](2) how many

(a) adjudication officers and (b) clerical officers are expected to (i) be relocated within the Benefits Agency, (ii) be employed by the contractor and (iii) be made redundant, as a result of the contractorisation of the Benefits Agency medical service. [36900]

During the course of the contractorisation of the Benefits Agency medical service, all permanent administrative civil servants will have to indicate whether they wish to transfer to the private sector or wish to be redeployed within the Department of Social Security. This options exercise is due to take place towards the end of the year, and until the results are known it is impossible to give definitive numbers of staff who will be either redeployed, relocated or transferred to the private sector.All doctors, whether full or part-time, and all administrative staff employed on a casual basis or on fixed-term appointments, are expected to transfer to the successful bidder or bidders.No staff will be made redundant as a result of the contractorisation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what performance indicators are to be included in the tender for the Benefits Agency medical service. [36906]

Targets and performance indicators for the private sector contractors have not yet been specified.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the successful contractor for the Benefits Agency medical service will be responsible for (a) employing doctors on a full-time basis and (b) paying a fee to part-time doctors; and what is the expected administration cost in each case. [36909]

It is expected that the successful contractor or contractors will be responsible for employing full and part-time doctors. It is not possible to detail any future administrative costs, but experience of similar exercises within the Department has identified that efficiencies will be gained in all cost areas of the contract or contracts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the contractorisation of the Benefits Agency medical service includes (a) medical advice and scrutiny, (b) contact with general practitioners for further information about a claimant, (c) medical assessment and examination, (d) disablement questions currently assessed by adjudicating medical authorities and (e) assessment of war pensions. [36901]

The current scope of the undertaking to contractorise the Benefits Agency medical service includes medical advice and scrutiny, contact with general practitioners for further information about a claimant, medical assessment and examination, but does not include disablement questions currently assessed by adjudicating medical authorities, or assessment of war pensions.

Benefit expenditure and planned benefit expenditure from 1988–89 to 1998–99
Cash prices (£ million)
Benefit1988–891989–901990–911991–921992–931993–941994–951995–961996–971997–981998–99
Unemployment benefit1,1077338701,6041,7601,6521,2791,096
Income support3,0412,6312,9404,2005,3795,7375,1835,088
Jobseeker's allowance—contributory based1,011652662
Jobseeker's allowance—income based4,6704,9004,956
Social fund4025243031484451464746
Housing benefit and council tax benefit1,2111,1271,4891,7442,1872,3322,6402,7942,8923,0353,227
Total5,3994,5165,3237,5789,3579,7699,1469,0298,6188,6348,892