Increased Involvement of Consultancy Companies in the NHS

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2016 Health Care Service Group Conference
27 November 2015
Carried as Amended

This Conference views with disgust, that the large consultancy, legal and accountancy firms have been increasing their financial turnover and profits from the public purse strings across the NHS. Trusts spending on them doubled between 2010 and 2014 to £640 million – enough to pay for three medium-sized hospitals. For all of 2014 the NHS deficit was £820 million. By the autumn months of 2015/16 the deficit was £930 million.

The Government fails to put forward any measures to curtail the use of management consultancy firms across the NHS, as many of their recommendations mirror the Government’s desire to privatise/outsource the NHS.

Profit-making firms have taken more than 60% of all contracts since 2010. In 2014-15 private companies won £3.5 billion of new clinical contracts. Out of 13 super clinical contracts (worth over £100 million each) private companies won six; five were won by consortia of NHS and non-NHS organisations. Only two were won by NHS organisations alone.

Prime Provider contracts allow sub-contractors to carry out the work, without any further public scrutiny. This Conference is dismayed with the constant refrain from the Department of Health, that these types of contract are classed “Commercially in Confidence.” Conference is angered that the Government refuses to make details of these contracts accountable to the public and that normal Parliamentary accountability is very limited.

Conference calls on the Health Care Service Group Executive to:-

1)step up UNISON’s campaign of opposition to privatisation of NHS Services

2)campaign with other health trade unions in exposing the massive legal, consultative and accountancy fees paid to these private companies from NHS funding

3)campaign for open transparency in all present contracts awarded by DH to the private sector including contracts carried out by sub-contractors

4)campaign against the internal market and put forward proposals, which give NHS workers, trade unions and NHS service users a real voice in the decisions on how the NHS is run and what its priorities are

5)campaign for all outsourced contracts such as NHS Supply Chain to revert back to the NHS fold with any compensation to be paid only on proven need.