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EPN487 - Scheme Medical Adviser (SMA) services – new provider and framework agreement effective from 1 July 2017.

Audience:

  • Those responsible for Scheme      Medical Adviser (SMA) referrals and case-handling
  • Those responsible for paying SMA invoices
  • Departmental Occupational Health providers

Action:

  • To note that there is no change to the current SMA’s arrangements – employers should continue using existing processes, forms and guidance until instructed otherwise
  • To note the change of SMA with effect from 1 July 2017 from Health Assured Limited to Health Management Limited
  • To note the broad plans for implementing the new framework agreement including employer engagement and training, the introduction of a digital platform for case handling and a reduction in tariff costs

Timing:

Immediate for information  - Changes will apply from 1 July 2017 

Background

1. Where access to benefits under the Civil Service pension and compensation arrangements is dependent upon medical advice the sole provider of this advice is the Civil Service Pension Scheme Medical Adviser (SMA). Cabinet Office, as managers of the Civil Service pension and compensation arrangements, appoints the SMA and sets up a framework agreement for providing services to employers participating in the Civil Service Pensions arrangements, including the pension scheme pension administrator, MyCSP Ltd.

2. Following a competitive tender exercise Health Management Limited (HML) has been appointed the Civil Service pension scheme SMA. A Scheme Medical Adviser with the new framework agreement will be taking effect from 1 July 2017.

Detail

3. Cabinet Office with HML and Health Assured Ltd (HA) are working together to enable a smooth transition of among other things the live caseload from one supplier to the other. Further EPN’s will be issued describing among other things the important ‘handover’ procedure so that the SMA’s service continues to run smoothly for cases that are mid-stream, and new processes and guidance relating to the services moving from being largely paper-based to an on-line digital platform.

4. Until informed otherwise by Cabinet Office, or by HA with Cabinet Office agreement, you should continue using HA’s services for pension scheme medical advice as normal.

5. As well as the service moving to an online digital platform we are pleased to be able to confirm that the costs for services included on the SMA’s tariff will be reduced with effect from 1 July 2017. The final costs will be a matter of some further discussion between Cabinet Office and HML, as will be the provision of good relevant management information and any changes to current Service Levels – especially as a result of digitalisation.

6. We will collectively need to engage with you as service users and we plan on doing so through a series of events and training sessions. We will be letting you have details of these in due course after consultation with HML but they are likely to be taking place during April and May on a regional basis.

7. Finally, where necessary we intend consulting an existing SMA User Group which consists of a range of Civil Service employer representatives to corroborate and test our broad Implementation Plan, for example commenting from a user perspective on emerging case handling guidance and plans for the handover between suppliers.

Other information

If you require any further assistance on the content of this EPN please contact andy.black@cabinetoffice.gov.uk

If you have a question about the distribution of EPNs contact employerpensionnotice@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

You can find electronic copies of the Employer Pension Guide, all current EPNs and forms on our website.

This notice is for employers and should not be issued to scheme members.

If members have a question about their pension they can find information on this website or by contacting MyCSP.