£5,188,001 was spent by the eight NHS NW London Clinical Commissioning Groups on management consultants from June 2015 to March 2016. These contracts concerned work for the 2012 ‘Shaping a Healthier Future’ (SaHF) project and the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). Over £1.8 million alone was paid to McKinsey and Company.
SaHF is a 2012 NHS NW London strategy to cut costs. Two full hospital A&Es, a children’s hospital A&E and a hospital Maternity unit have already been closed, but no financial savings have been announced. SPT is a national cost cutting scheme whereby Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups ( CCGs) try to thrash out regional five year plans for delivering less expensive healthcare and social care services. In NW London the goal is to save £1.3 billion by 2020/21.
The fact that one of the STP contracts was signed in August 2015 leads me to believe that the STP project was up and running secretly for months before it was announced to the public just before Christmas 2015.
It defies belief that the CCGs are still paying consultants to write/rewrite SaHF business cases for the SaHF which was conceived four years ago. But sure enough, six consultancies were paid over £1.8 million to work on these business cases in 2015/16.
If you thought that NHS England had put a cap on the size of individual management consultancy contracts – think again. In December 2015, for example, Deloittes was awarded a £585,000 SaHF business case support contract.
Presumably the hundreds of staff employed by the CCGs are deemed not competent to carry out this work. But surely public money would have been better spent last year and in the last three years if the NHS had hired bright people onto its payroll to do this work. At £80,000 per year (salary plus overheads) it would have cost £3.2 million to have 10 people on board for four years to do this work. Instead the NHS NW London management consultants’ bill for 2013 to 2016 was over £38 million. Truly scandalous.