Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News

No evidence that employing management consultants improves efficiency in NHS

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k893 (Published 23 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k893

Rapid Response:

Re: No evidence that employing management consultants improves efficiency in NHS

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.

Competing interests: No competing interests

24 February 2018
KPR Eyre
Medical Student
Brighton & Sussex Medical School
Brighton