05 June 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie
A group of MPs has criticised measures used to verify if the UK's health service achieves value for money on management consultant spend.
A House of Commons Health Committee report, published yesterday, said the NHS summarised accounts for 2007-08 disclosed external consultant spend separately for the first time. It showed a total of £308.5 million.
But the MPs did not believe the current value for money checks were a "thorough and systematic assessment", and recommended external review and more disclosure.
"A sample of contracts with management consultants agreed by all categories of NHS organisation and the Department of Health should be subject to external peer review. This should include an assessment of the value of the consultants' output," the report said.
It added top daily rates paid to consultants should be published annually along with lists of management consultants employed in public health to indicate the cost and purpose of the project they worked on.
"Making such spending subject to public monitoring might improve the way consultants are used," the report said.