MCA supports greater transparency for NHS use of management consultancy

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has issued a statement following the Government’s response to the Parliamentary Health Select Committee’s Report on the use of management consultancies by the NHS and Department of Health.

Chief Executive of the MCA, Alan Leaman said:

“We are strong advocates of greater transparency and value for money and support the Government’s approach set out today. Management consultancies make an enormous contribution to improved patient care and reduced costs in the NHS, generating benefits far in excess of the cost. The public is entitled to know more about this important work. 

“This move to greater transparency will require the Department of Health to improve its data and communicate more clearly how and why the NHS uses consultancy. We hope it will also lead to some further improvements in health service use of management consultancy:

  • NHS managers testing more effectively whether they have the relevant resources and expertise in-house before they go out to the consultancy market
  • Greater clarity about the objectives of consulting projects and the measurement of the value of what is achieved
  • Greater focus on desired outcomes rather than just measuring inputs
  • More opportunities for consultancies to share risks through ‘payment by results’.

“We are currently working with the Department of Health on a concordat setting out the responsibilities of both buyers and suppliers of consultancy.”  


  • The Government’s response to the Health Select Committee report can be downloaded here and the Select Committee Report can be downloaded here
  • The MCA recently published a report on the use of management consultants by the NHS. Improving care, reducing cost provides the first authoritative figures for how much is spend on consulting by the NHS and what work consultants do.
  • The NHS spent around £300m in 2008 on management consultancy, roughly a tenth per capita of spending by large private sector organisations. This represents less than 0.3% of the NHS’s total budget.