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Call for greater transparency on management consultants’ secret ‘rich pickings’

By Ian Quinn

BMA leaders have passed a motion calling for the open publication of money-spinning management consultant contracts, as evidence emerged they were still raking in millions from the NHS.

The conference heard £1.7bn had been spent in the past seven years on consultants, including two McKinsey reports which called for reduced consultation times and huge shifts in care from hospitals to primary care, but were later dismissed as unworkable.

But the conference heard trusts were still paying individual consultant staff up to £1,000 a day.

The conference overwhelmingly passed motions calling for money spent on management consultants to be publically available, and meet 'high standards of academic rigour'.

Dr Jacky Davis, a consultant in Islington and head of the Keep Our NHS Public campaign, told the conference the spending on consultants was ‘an affront to our democracy.'

‘Management consultants have had rich pickings from the NHS,' she said. ‘They have made hundreds of millions and it's been reported that McKinsey makes a third of its profits from the NHS.'

BMA chair, Dr Hamish Meldrum, added: ‘In the last seven years of the last Government, we estimate they spent 1.5 billion on management consultants in the NHS.'

Dr Hamish Meldrum