NHS Improvement is to produce a league table on the most effective management consultants.

At a session at the NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool yesterday, the head of the regulator’s financial improvement programme, said the ratings would go down to team and individual level.

Matthew Fox said performance would be hard to measure and would be done with the necessary respect for the individuals involved, but would get “into the world of Uber and individual scoring”.

The programme, now in its second year, sends teams of management consultants into trusts to turnaround financial performance. The ratings would apply only to consultancies involved in the programme.

Mr Fox said the programme was the “amber” to financial special measures’ “red” and NHSI asked firms to demonstrate a return on investment of 4:1.

He added that trust management teams were generally aware of where the savings opportunities were, they just did not have the time to pursue them, and this was where the external agencies came in.

A measure of trusts’ use of resources was also expected in the coming months, he said.

Mr Fox was speaking at a session called: “Running on empty – where have all the savings gone and what is left in the efficiency tank?”

Some panellists agreed that although the savings set out in the Carter report were possible, they would not be possible within the original timescale.

His presentation included estimates of the return on investment in different areas, based on initial work with six trusts.

The financial improvement programme estimates there could be a return on investment of 27:1 in procurement, 21:1 in non-medical or nursing workforce and 17:1 in new care models.