The Use of Management Consultants by the NHS and the Department of Health: Fifth Report of Session 2008-09 Report, Together with Formal Minutes and Oral Evidence 2008-09: House of Commons Papers 2829th June 2009
In 2007-08, the NHS summarised accounts showed that expenditure on external consultants in the NHS were GBP 43.4 million for SHAs, GBP 132.6 million for PCTs and GBP 132.4 million for NHS Trusts, giving a total of GBP 308.5 million.
In evidence sessions with officials from the Department of Health and the NHS, the Committee asked about the collection and publishing of information about the use of consultants. Departmental annual reports now cover this, but the Department of Health's report does not include information about the NHS's use of consultants.
The NHS chief executive believed that central collection of such information would lead to more micromanaging, something he wished to avoid. The Committee does not agree, and recommends that the Government collect centrally lists of the management consultants employed by the Department of Health, SHAs, PCTs and acute, ambulance and mental health trusts, indicating the projects they are employed on, their duration, cost and purpose; and the top ten daily rates paid by each category of organisation.
The Committee will ask for this information annually and publish it in their public expenditure questionnaire reports. It is important to know whether the NHS and Department of Health are getting value for money from the contracts agreed with management consultants and it is recommended that a sample of contracts with management consultants agreed by all categories of NHS organisation and the Department should be subject to external peer review.
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