Department of Health spending on management consultants fell by 69 per cent in the first five months of the new government, according to data released under its open government policy.
Last Friday Whitehall departments published their expenditure on items over £25,000 purchased in May to September.
The DH’s total spending over the threshold came to £1.85bn. Monthly spending totals increased from £183m in May to £335m in September and peaked at £744m in July.
Spending on consultants totalled £38.6m, £15.7m of that in the coalition government’s first month. The figure fell to £4.9m in September. The DH has said spending data before May 2010 is not available. The fall in spending came after the June emergency Budget announced an “immediate freeze on unnecessary spending on consultancy” across government.
The largest recorded consultant beneficiaries of the DH’s spending were McKinsey and Co and QI Consulting (see table).
Early versions of the data also included £53.5m spent on vaccines. The DH said the details were redacted in the final publication due to commercial confidentiality.
The initial data release included information on £28.1m received by Sanofi Pasteur MSD - the vaccines arm of French company Sanofi-Aventis - for “stock vaccines additions”. Sums of £20m received by Pfizer, £2.9m by Baxter Healthcare and £2.3m by Novartis - also for vaccine stock - were also deleted from the final publication, although the DH confirmed the figures were correct.
The final published data also revealed the amount spent by the DH directly on IT. Over the period £124m was spent with BT, which is a main contractor for the NHS IT scheme. CSC and software firm Bytes Technology Group received around £45m each.
DH spending on consultants between May and September
|McKinsey and Co||£6.5m|
|MCKINSEY AND CO INC UK||6.5m|
|PA CONSULTING SERVICES LTD||2.0m|