Intended for healthcare professionals


No evidence that employing management consultants improves efficiency in NHS

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 23 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k893
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. London

NHS trusts have spent millions of pounds on external management consultants which has led to a “significant” rise in inefficiency, ultimately worsening services, an analysis has found.1

The study linked spending on management consultants by 120 English trusts with measures of organisational efficiency, and found that only a minority experienced efficiency gains. It was carried out by academics at the universities of Bristol, Seville, and Warwick Business School and published in the journal Policy and Politics.

The trusts spent around £600m (€679m; $836m) in total on management consultants from 2009 to 10 to 2012-13. Researchers compared the expenditure against the reference costs index (RCI) used to measure the efficiency of NHS providers and to …

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