Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Paula Sherriff has expressed significant concern at the Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust, which runs Dewsbury Hospital, spending in the region of £12 million since 2010 using management consultancy services.
Miss Sherriff has recently raised the issue within the House of Commons chamber and at the cross-party Health Select Committee. In July 2015 alone, the Trust paid out a huge £1.2 million to management consultants Ernst and Young. The Trust has controversially recently imposed parking charges on blue badge holders across its 3 hospital sites, hoping to recoup a total of £98,000.
Miss Sherriff recently raised this expenditure with Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, questioning whether value for money was being provided to the tax payer. It is thought that Ernst and Young are currently providing cover for a number of managerial positions within the Trust.
Mr Hunt agreed to look into the specific issue but did state that he broadly agreed with points made by Miss Sherriff regarding management consultants. He stated that caps had now been placed on management consultancy spend although this only related to new contracts and not existing arrangements.
Mr Hunt said 'Too often in the NHS there has been a reflex when a difficult decision has to be made, to hire someone from outside to come in and say what needs to be done, when actually the best people (to decide) are the people who work inside an organisation as they are the ones who have to implement it. I think we have been spending too much on management consultants.'
Miss Sherriff said “I am pleased that the Health Secretary agreed with me regarding the huge sums of money being spent locally using expensive management consultancies although I am disappointed that this expenditure has been going on for over 4 years. Surely this money could be better spent on patient care or the reduction of waiting lists.”
'The amount spent has been eye watering and I call on the Trust to review their policy. Whilst I acknowledge there are financial challenges the Trust has to meet, I fail to accept that this is the most cost effective value-for-money manner in which to do so. I will be raising this issue in a meeting the Chief Executive of the Trust in the near future.'