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The author of the paper explicitly admits that the methodology fails to account for "...variations in the types of consulting projects and the different purposes and intended outcomes these might have". It is overly-simplistic to imagine that different consultancy services save money in the same way, or even have measurably tangible benefits. Health economics is nuanced in a way that the title of this article ignores.
The lag period utilised in the paper is also far too short (a maximum of three years) - many consultancy projects involve modernisation, technological improvement and longer-term investment that only come to fruition in the medium to long term. These innovations must often come from the private sector, the breeding ground for competitive advantages, whilst clinicians and administrative staff focus on patients directly.
It is misguided to target Trusts' reliance on management consultants; there are far bigger and infinitely more urgent problems in the NHS.