Monday, 15 March 2010

NHS wastes £487m on consultants

From this morning's Daily Wail...

"The Department of Health has spent £478million on management consultants and accountants over the last five years, figures reveal today. That works out at more than £260,000 a day, including weekends. It is the equivalent of the annual salaries of around 17,000 nurses. The spending splurge will shock taxpayers and infuriate cancer sufferers whose life could be extended if they were given drugs which are rejected as too expensive.

The winners are well-paid consultancy firms such as Accenture, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte, McKinsey and Ernst & Young. Individual consultants and accountants can earn up to £1,000 an hour.

Between April last year and January 31, the Department spent nearly £44million. By the end of the tax year next month, the bill will be even higher.

LibDem Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott accused the department yesterday of having 'a long-term consultancy addiction problem'. And it is the smallest amount they have spent in any of the last five tax years. In 2005-06 they spent nearly £198million.

He said: 'They must get a grip and kick their consultancy habit now. 'For any organisation, spending vast sums on consultants year in and year out is a sure sign of spineless management. Managers are paid to manage, not carry on consulting.'

The figures are revealed just weeks after Labour pledged to halve its spending on consultants by the 2012/13 tax year. Yesterday the Health Department insisted that the consultants' work is vital. A spokesman said: 'As a Department with complex responsibilities, we require a multi-skilled workforce. 'Where there are gaps in this resource we seek short-term expert consultancy support. Work is being undertaken as part of the engagement of firms to ensure that, where appropriate, skills are transferred from consultants to the Department.'


  1. Chris from Melbourne15 March 2010 at 09:30

    Hi XTM.
    Under the weather a little, I'm sorry to hear that. Hang in there! Soon be time for Morris dancing.
    Consultancy seems to be the current growth industry over here as well.Someone once said a consultant is someone you pay a great dollop of your money to, to hear something you already knew. I reckon they can smell a Government job coming up: cha-ching. Same goes for goods and services;think of a number, any number, add your shoe size and send the invoice.How do we get a piece of the action.

    Regards to all the XTM's

  2. the public will be shocked - no, we are not, unfortunately as this comes as no surprise at all! The health serice is about looking after people, not trying to project the right image - if it did its job properly, it wouldn't need to spend money trying to tweak figures and impress

  3. Sorry to hear you're not well again, hope things improve with the weather.

    I don't want to give you another relapse but the Tax Payer's Alliance website has lots and lots and lots of stuff like this. It's really scary.

    Good luck

  4. Absolute f**cking bullshit response. It would be far cheaper to hire the expertise they need full time, even on exorbitant salaries. It's easy to spend money when you don't have to earn it.

  5. They probably employ their friends and former colleagues. The whole thing stinks. No wonder this country is bankrupt.

  6. Well it's obvious innit. They hire all these overpriced consultants because the managers and managers' managers, and managers' managers' managers don't have a clue themselves, being drafted in from places like Woolies and Marks & Spender. Plus it's a good way of funneling money away from the NHS to put it under greater strain and force it under the water and hold it there.

    I've said this for years. Sack the bloody lot of them.

    What makes me mad is that they go on and on about putting the patient first, as if this is a new invention never heard of before in the entire history of the world since Job, yet if they would just shut their big mouths and let the real hospital staff (you know, the ones who actually do the work and have had patient care etched into their souls from the day they decided they wanted to look after patients) get on with the job, patient care would once again be top of the agenda. The people getting in the way are the bloody managers.