Cash spent on health consultants comes under fire from top doctor

Debbie Cartmell from the QA delivers a gift to a resident at Bluewater Care Home as part of last year's appeal

QA Hospital staff collect gifts to donate to people in care homes

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A LEADING doctor has branded the amount of money being spent on consultants helping to draw up plans for changes to the NHS as ‘outrageous’.

As revealed by The News last month, more than £500,000 was spent on management consultants to draw up plans for future healthcare in Hanpshire – part of a £17.6m bill across the country.

As part of an investigation by The News and our sister papers in Johnston Press called The Great NHS Gamble, we revealed that £576,736 was given to companies helping to create the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

Last night the cost drew fire from Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association’s council, who said: ‘It is outrageous that so much vital resource is being handed to consultancy firms. These figures are especially concerning given that everyone can see a huge crisis unfolding within our health service.’

Health organisations around the country were asked by the government to create STPs looking at how healthcare would be implemented over the coming years.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight expenditure was in the top 10 of the country.

An NHS England spokesman said occasionally it makes sense for outside experts to give advice to hospitals on where to build new facilities and how to release money from old buildings.

He added: ‘But the main focus has to be on practical, common-sense changes in areas that really matter to patients.’