Welsh NHS Spending Millions on Management Consultants; 'Awful Lot of Taxpayers' Money Not to Be Directed at Frontline Health' - AM
Byline: Madeleine Brindley
THE NHS is diverting millions of pounds away from patient care every year to pay private management consultants.
Figures obtained by the Conservatives suggest that at least pounds 18m has been spent on teams of external consultants in the last decade in Wales.
But the real figure could be much higher as some health boards failed to answer a Freedom of Information request and others only provided costs for the last few years.
The information reveals that in one case the Assembly Government paid a consultancy firm more than pounds 500,000 for work on an NHS Wales programme.
Jonathan Morgan, AM for Cardiff North, who uncovered the data, said: "These are extraordinary figures and an awful lot of taxpayers' money not to be directed at frontline health services. "We know already that there is an historic debt crisis in the NHS. In these extremely difficult economic times, expenditure needs to be rigorously controlled."
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which provides health services across North Wales, said pounds 364,341 had been spent on management consultants in the last four years.
The board's response revealed that the five former North Wales local health boards routinely used management consultants in the development and design of primary care estates strategies, in the establishment of the out of hours service and in a review of community hospitals.
Cardiff and Vale Health Board said its predecessor organisations had spent more than pounds 5m on management consultants in the last 10 years, including more than pounds 3m on an all-Wales consultation on behalf of the Assembly Government.
The Assembly Government's NHS department said it had spent pounds 1.5m on management consultants since 2001.
This includes bills from companies for pounds 750-a-day for workshops and training days, not including travel expenses.
Birmingham-based consultancy firm Capgemini was paid more than pounds 500,000 in December 2008 and March 2009 for work on the NHS Wales transformation programme. …