NHS consultancy clampdown saves £42m

4 Jan 16

Constraints on consultancy spending in the NHS saved £42m in the third quarter of 2015 and restrictions on agency staff could reduce costs by £160m by the end of the financial year, NHS Improvement has found.

The health service regulator stated that Department of Health restrictions on the use of management consultants had reduced spending from £145m, incurred between July and September in 2014, to £103m in the same three months in 2015.

In addition, the watchdog found that caps on agency staff spending could remove as much as £1bn from the health service’s pay bill by 2018.

Hospitals spent £3.3bn on agency staff last year following a move to increase staffing levels on wards in the wake of care failures revealed at Mid-Staffordshire hospital. However, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said today’s figures showed it would be possible to make savings and improve patient care at the same time.

All savings made from the new rules would form part of the £22bn efficiency target set out in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View programme, Hunt stated.

“Our plans to clamp down on management consultants and rip-off staffing agencies are bearing fruit. Patients will see the reward with savings being reinvested in frontline patient care.”

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