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Freedom of information act is truly in vogue – PR Week Post #10

June 8, 2009

(Click here for the orginal PR Week post)

Last Friday afternoon, I read that the NHS spent more than £350 million on external management consultants in the last financial year, with only 12% being directly attributed to improving patient care.  Commenting on the fact that the remaining £273 million was unrelated to direct patient care, the RCN general secretary, Peter Carter, said: “These figures are utterly shocking when you consider the difference that this money could have made to patients.”

I completely agree. This is yet another example of where money is simply frittered away in an attempt to repair a clearly dysfunctional set-up.  Without shutting the NHS down and rebuilding it from the ground up, I am not sure this will ever happen. Bureaucracy will always stand in the way of positive reorganisation.

As the Health Select Committee requested this information via the Freedom of Information Act, I wonder if they have any plans to scrutinise the salaries and benefits paid out to trust boards each year?

From my recent experiences, I doubt whether this expenditure is having a completely positive effect on patient outcomes either.

Originally posted to PR Week on June 8, 2009