Why rely on expensive consultants?

IT COMES as no surprise that the management consultancy behind the report into the future of Scarborough Hospital is KPMG.

Perhaps this is the same KPMG whose NHS consultant, Mark Britnell, told an Apax private equity event that “in future, the NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer” and “any willing provider” from the private sector will be able to sell goods and services to the system. “The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years,” (The Guardian, March 16, 2012). We know what he meant, and Scarborough Hospital and local people are going to pay the price.

KPMG, and other management consultants, are making millions of pounds from fees advising government, NHS trusts and GP commissioning boards. No doubt they will also make millions more when their ‘independent’ recommendations go wrong.

I welcome the campaign by The Scarborough News to save the services at our local hospital. This is exactly what a local newspaper is for - campaigning and reporting on important issues that affect local people. Nothing is more important than the NHS to those who do not benefit from private health cover.

Why is that so many public services fall for the siren voices of these management consultants? Senior managers prefer to commission an ‘independent’ report that provides a convenient fig leaf for them to hide behind.

If the right managers are appointed, they should have the skills and ability to make and stand by their own decisions, rather than relying upon these expensive consultants reports. That is what they are paid to do. After all, with this toxic combination of high fees and human nature there is no such thing as an independent consultant.

J Buckley

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