MILLIONS of pounds of NHS cash is being poured into the pockets of a small private consultancy firm hired to find savings through cuts in Kent — and the practice could be widespread, campaigners warned today.
Investigations by health service activists Diane Langford and Julie Wassmer suggest that more than £6 million was handed by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS (MTW) to private consultancy firm Carnall Farrar to find “efficiency savings.”
They also point out that the “independent” chair of the Kent NHS body set up by the government to impose the cuts, Dame Ruth Carnell, is also a partner in Carnell Farrer.
The campaigners said they had become concerned when they saw the appointment of Ms Carnall to chair the local sustainability and transformation programme (STP) board, one of 44 set up by the government to find more “efficiency savings” in local NHS services.
The campaigners said they had faced 12 months of “obfuscation” during their investigations in Kent, despite requests made under freedom of information legislation.
Eventually, the campaigners found that £6,051,199 had been paid to Carnall Farrar by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust up to September last year.
Author Ms Wassmer said: “This is public money — NHS funds being diverted away from services and into the pockets of private consultancies. We know that over £6 million, and possibly more, has been paid from the local NHS budget to this one consultancy for barely 18 months’ work on the local STP.”
She said there were implications for all 44 of the STPs set up by the government to find more “efficiency savings.”
“How much more is going to management consultants across the whole of the UK?” she asked.
“Paying millions to private companies like Carnall Farrar to find damaging cuts within an underfunded service is not only senseless, it’s immoral.”
Glenn Douglas, chief executive and chair of the Kent and Medway STP, said: “All spend has been declared on the MTW website, but it should be noted that Carnall Farrar were a subcontractor of another company initially, so not all spend was directly received by or attributed to them.
“This was explained to Julie and Diane following the meeting with them. In the interests of transparency, all spend with Carnall Farrar has now been clearly published.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.