MCA Explodes the Myths about Management Consulting and the NHS

The NHS spent around 0.3% of its budget on management consultancy in 2008, according to a new report from the MCA (Management Consultancies Association.) Improving care, reducing cost also says that many consultancy projects led to NHS savings far in excess of their cost.

This MCA report contains the first authoritative analysis of how much the NHS spends on management consultancy and the types of work that management consultants do.  It is based on detailed research with MCA member companies, and contains a series of case studies.
Alan Leaman, Chief Executive of the MCA, said:
“Management consultancy has recently been caught in the cross-fire of the arguments between supporters of reform in the NHS and their opponents. This report sets out the down-to-earth and essential work that the vast majority of management consultants are doing – and the benefits that they bring.
“Those who attack the use of management consultants by the NHS are undermining efforts to increase efficiency and improve patient care.
“The public rightly demands high-quality services and value for money. Those who attack the role of management consultants would deny them both.”
The report reveals that:
·         Total spending on management consultants by the NHS in 2008 was £300m. Total NHS spending currently exceeds £100bn.
·         The amount spent on consultancy by the NHS per employees is roughly one tenth of that spent by large private sector organisations
·         Most spending on consultancy is associated with significant programmes which lead to improved patient care and greater efficiency.
The House of Commons Select Committee recently recommended that the Government establish a central list of all the consultancies used by the NHS and the projects that they have worked on. The MCA supports this proposal.
Improving care, reducing cost also sets out some MCA proposals for further improving the NHS’s use of consultancies. These include a call for a clearer distinction between consultancy and the use of interim staff, together with greater focus on the outcomes of consulting projects and more performance-related contracts.
For a copy of Improving care, reducing cost, please visit
For more information, please contact:
Hilary Downes
Press Officer
Management Consultancies Association
Tel: 020 7321 4810 / Mobile: 07943 805594
David Pippett
DWP Public Relations
Tel: 01225 833745 / Mobile: 07899 798197
About the Management Consultancies Association
The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) is the representative body for management consultancy firms in the UK. Our sixty member companies comprise around 70% of the UK consulting industry, estimated to be worth £9bn in 2008, employ more than 40,000 consultants and work with over 90 of the top FTSE 100 companies and almost all parts of the public sector.
The MCA’s tough entry criteria and rigorous Code of Practice mean that MCA member companies are widely acknowledged to provide high quality services to their clients. Many of their achievements are recognised in the annual MCA Management Awards and the Consultant of the Year Awards.
The MCA informs and influences public debate on topical issues, and provides authoritative data on the industry. It commissions research and policy analysis and represents the industry in discussions with Government and other stakeholders. The MCA also facilitates networking and the sharing of best practice within the industry through events, publications and initiatives such as the Young MCA.