Cash-strapped Milton Keynes Hospital has paid a whopping £2.2 million to a firm of business consultants over the past year – in a bid to SAVE money.
Accounting documents show tens of thousands of pounds handed over to London-based Ernst and Young every month under the heading ‘transformation programme’, the Citizen can reveal.
At the same time the Trust has spent more than £100,000 employing its own staff for the programme, which is designed to bring financial stability the hospital.
This week hospital chiefs insisted the cash spent on consultants was a long-term investment that has helped identify millions of pounds worth of economies and improvements for the future.
The most recent accounts show £5.5 million was saved during 2012/13. A private company was recruited to launch the transformation project in 2011. But in last year’s annual report hospital chief executive Joe Harrison said the “majority” of people now working on the programme were Trust employees.
The hospital also hands out huge amounts to private consultantcy company Penna plc under the heading ‘finance’ – despite employing its own director of finance Jonathan Dunk. Between April 2013 and April this year £452,000 was paid to Penna.
A hospital spokesman said: “To support delivery of this agenda, services were engaged from several specialist companies to fast track the implementation of an ambitious transformation programme.
“This included achieving a recurrent savings programme of more than £7m, improvements in achievement of quality standards and supporting the Trust with specialist advice on estates planning.”
“He said the Trust did not employ external consultants if it has the internal capacity to undertake the work.”