Hospital bosses’ massive spending on consultants
Health chiefs have paid a staggering £458,500 to consultants to help draw up plans for farreaching reforms to the way care should be provided in Kent.
The draft report setting out a blueprint for the next five years has been the subject of withering criticism from county councillors, who have complained much of it was meaningless and lacked detail.
The four Kent hospital trusts – including the East Kent one that runs the William Harvey Hospital – along with other organisations that are involved in drafting the Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP) commissioned three firms to help and advise them.
The trusts said it was necessary to take on external advisers as they “provided capacity, skills, experience and expertise that wasn’t available to be freed up within existing STP member organisations.”
STPs are long-term plans that will set out how health services in 44 areas of the country should be organised and managed to improve care for residents within certain areas and across all types of spending within the NHS.
In particular, the plans are designed to set out how best to integrate health services with social care provided by councils and address the issue of how to deal with declining budgets.
In Kent’s case, that means dealing with a £486 million overspend if nothing is done by 2020.
Consultancy firm Carnall Farrar was paid £300,000 “for capacity and expertise in financial and activity modelling, strategy development and programme management.”
However, the firm has been paid close to £2.5 million since last October for its work on the STP. A second consultancy, MGWR, was paid £43,000 for “interim day-to-day programme management support”.
The third firm engaged was GE Healthcare Finnamore, which was paid £115,500 “for capacity and expertise in financial and activity modelling” – the same reason Carnall Farrar Limited was commissioned.
The figures were released to the KM Group under the Freedom of Information Act.
The trusts have since continued to rely on two of the companies to provide additional advice and commissioned a fourth – Hood and Woolf – to work for them to provide public relations and help staff with management. That has cost £74,000. They have also spent a further £66,000 on “programme management support” provided by MGWR.
The concept of STPs has proved controversial and led to fears it might lead to reductions in services in some areas.
Almost half a million pounds has been paid to consultants for plans on the future of care in Kent