May 21 2013 Latest news:
By Chris Harris
Saturday, January 12, 2013
A SUFFOLK hospital has spent £1.8million on management consultants in five years, new figures have revealed.
The data, released to the East Anglian Daily Times under the Freedom of Information Act, shows Ipswich Hospital hired external help despite employing 273 staff who earn more than £50,000-a-year.
But the hospital last night defended the spending, saying it represents just 0.15% of total expenditure since April 1, 2007.
David Ellesmere, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Ipswich and leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “That is a huge amount of money to spend on consultants and there are serious questions about whether they have got value for money for that.
“When Labour took control of the borough council we have moved to stop highly-paid consultants.
“Usually there is the knowledge available within the organisation to do the work.
“I’d hope that the hospital is starting to phase out this kind of expenditure.
“The hospital is a large organisation and you need highly-skilled members of staff to run that.
“I don’t have a problem with management consultants but £1.8m does seem a rather large amount.”
A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said: “We only use external help for specific projects and they support and endorse the expertise and knowledge in the hospital.
“There are some specific projects where we recognise we need a particular set of skills that are not generally found within an NHS environment.
“Between 2007 to present, the trust’s expenditure has been £1.3billion, of which £1.8million has been spent on management consultants, which equates to 0.15% of total trust expenditure.
“The trust has a £240m turnover, employs 3,700 staff and follows nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment, which includes nationally agreed pay scales. There are a number of staff, eg some doctor grades and consultants, whereby the salary levels commence above £50,000.
“We currently have 273 employees earning over £50,000 of which 89% are clinical.
“Hence the number of non-clinical staff earning over £50,000 is 31, which equates to 0.8% of all staff.”
Last month the EADT revealed NHS Suffolk’s spending on external consultants and advisors was £1.6million in 2011/12.