DoH urged to publish NHS management consultant spending

The health select committee has demanded that the government collect and publish details of all NHS spending on management consultants.

David Nicholson
David Nicholson

In a report on its 2008 public expenditure questionnaire (PEQ), published yesterday, the committee calls for the publication of full details of all consultancy contracts, including what they cover, how long they last and what they cost.

It also calls for the 10 highest rates paid by each type of NHS organisation to be published, to name and shame high spenders. It also wants regulator Monitor to do the same for foundation trusts.

This is the first time the committee has published a specific report on the PEQ. It follows apparently contradictory answers to questions given by NHS chief executive David Nicholson.

In December 2008, he told the committee that the NHS had 'started the process' of collecting information on spending on consultants.

But in a second meeting, three months later, he said that collecting detailed information would be used to 'micromanage organisations; we do not think that is the right thing to do'.

In 2007/8 the NHS spent £308.5m on management consultants. This excludes foundation trusts, which do not identify consultancy costs.

The highest spending types of trust were PCTs, which spend £132.6m.

Earlier this month an exclusive Healthcare Republic investigation found that more than half of PCTs used private firms or consultants to help commission services in 2008/9

  • Should the DoH publish NHS management consultant spending details?

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