The details of £1.85bn of Department of Health spending since the coalition government came to power has been revealed.
Under new open government policy, central government must publish all items of spending over £25,000. Every such item of spending from May to September can now be viewed on the government’s data.gov.uk website.
The 6,100 financial transactions released by the DH revealed the amount spent on technology. Some £124m was spent with BT, which provides the NHS IT scheme. Both CSC Computer Sciences and software firm Bytes Technology Group received around £45m.
Spending on consultants continued during the first five months of the new government despite a pledge to reduce it. McKinsey and Co received £6.5m and QI Consulting received £6m from the DH.
Over the five months £16m was also spent on the NHS Injury Benefits Scheme, which compensates staff who are unable to work because of an injury or illness attributable to the NHS.
The data shows all spending by the department, much of it to other government or NHS bodies. Over £330m of DH money went to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Some £269m was spent on research and development, most of this going to universities. Outsourcing firm Capita and private provider Care UK both received around £14m.
Transactions worth £12.6m related to pharmaceuticals firm Actavis UK were reported by the DH. Three other medicines companies, Wockhardt UK, Sandoz and Sanofi Aventis all received over £5m to “stock essential medicines”.
The Cabinet Office released the data for all government departments. Minster Francis Maude said: “It is our ambition to make the UK the most transparent and accountable government in the world.
“I want the public hold us to account for what we do and, by publishing this data today, taxpayers will be able to see exactly how we spend their money. This will not always be easy but we expect the public to hold our feet to the fire and make sure that not a penny of their money is wasted.”