MAGESHSJ EXCLUSIVE Two-thirds of the regulator's expenditure spent on consultants McKinsey

Published: 05/05/2005, Volume II5, No. 5954 Page 5

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US president Bill Clinton, is working with independent regulator Monitor on a new programme to help aspiring foundation trusts.

Ms Clinton, a business consultant for management consultancy firm McKinsey and Company, has been working with Monitor since Easter.

The New York consultancy firm has been working with Monitor since the regulator was established early last year. This week, HSJ learned that of Monitor's total£15.5m expenditure in its first 15 months, around£10m went to McKinsey.

HSJ understands that Ms Clinton is currently working with seven McKinsey colleagues on a new development programme to help acute trusts improve their financial discipline.

The programme is designed to ensure aspirant foundation trusts stand a better chance of being authorised by the regulator, in line with the government's pledge to make sure every acute trust is in a position to apply to become a foundation trust by 2008.

Monitor is developing the scheme with Birmingham and the Black Country and Cheshire and Merseyside strategic health authorities.

Dorset and Somerset and North Central London SHAs will also be working with Monitor on the programme later in the year.

In March, NHS chief executive Sir Nigel Crisp set out the programme in the Department of Health's delivery plan A Patient-led NHS: delivering the NHS improvement plan (see box).

Birmingham and the Black Country director of health policy and strategy Peter Spilsbury told HSJ that the scheme was about 'developing acute trust capacity so that they have a higher probability of passing [Monitor's test to become foundation trusts]'.

He said that the SHAs were developing 'toolkits' for trusts to use and added that the scheme had been set up because of DoH fears that without it many NHS trusts would not succeed in becoming foundation trusts by the government's 2008 deadline.

Ms Clinton, aged 25, is currently based in Monitor's Westminster office. She has been seconded to McKinsey's London office from New York and is working on the project with seven colleagues.

She joined McKinsey in 2003 as a business consultant in the company's healthcare division on a reported starting salary of£64,500.

She has previously worked as an intern for the World Health Organisation in Geneva.

Last month her father Bill Clinton endorsed Tony Blair and the Labour government during a speech he gave by satellite link at a Labour Party rally to mark World Poverty Day.

DoH wants all trusts to fall in line by April 2006

The Department of Health wants all trusts to move to the accounting regime used by foundation trusts by April 2006, with a trial period from summer 2005.

Last month NHS chief executive Sir Nigel Crisp said the move was intended as a response to trusts' continuing concerns about the relatively short time frame they are given to prepare for foundation status.

The government has pledged to make sure that all trusts are in a position to apply for foundation status by 2008.

Under the new scheme trusts will be required to take account not just of their annual budget, but of how much income they will be able to generate under payment by results.

Sir Nigel said: 'We want boards of NHS trusts to start thinking of themselves as running 'going concerns' and we will expect them to do their accounts in that way and to start looking at how they are using money and resources in the same way foundation trusts do'.