Millions in taxpayers’ money spent on private consultants to plan NHS cuts

The country’s biggest accountancy firms have made at least £17.6m to date helping the NHS draw up plans that will lead to the closure or downgrade of hospitals. KPMG, McKinsey and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are among the big earners from health bosses paying management consultants to draw up the strategies, which earmark cuts to departments and some A&Es. The figure, from Freedom of Information requests made by the Press Association, confirm what i revealed last month during a series of investigations into sustainability and transformation plans (STPs).STPs have been created in 44 regions in a bid to revolutionise services while saving money in the face of an expected £900m NHS deficit this year.

A Kings Fund report recently revealed that such extensive use of private management companies has caused disquiet among senior health service clinicians and executives. In some cases, managers felt pressured to increase their spend on the private companies. “In one area, STP leaders even felt under pressure from NHS England’s regional team to increase the amount of money they were spending on management and consultancy support,” it said.

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