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Department of Health: Consultants

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what payments were made to McKinsey and Company for their report on efficiency saving in the National Health Service. [HL5455]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what level of assistance the Department of Health provided McKinsey and Company during the preparation of their report on efficiency savings in the National Health Service. [HL5456]

To ask Her Majesty's Government who decided to invite McKinsey and Company to prepare a report into efficiency savings in the National Health Service; what meetings were held with McKinsey and Company to discuss the matter; when such meetings took place; and who attended those meetings. [HL5457]

To ask Her Majesty's Government why they invited McKinsey and Company to prepare a report on the National Health Service; and whether any assessment was made of the ability of the Department of Health to prepare such a report itself. [HL5458]

To ask Her Majesty's Government when McKinsey and Company submitted their report to the Department of Health; to whom it was submitted; whether any presentations or meetings were held to discuss the report; and, if so, who attended them. [HL5459]

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether staff in the Department of Health and the National Health Service were instructed to co-operate with McKinsey and Company in the preparation of their report into efficiency savings in the NHS; and, if so, what records were kept of the number of meetings held, and the time taken in such meetings. [HL5460]

In February 2009, McKinsey was instructed by the Director-General for Commissioning and System Management to provide advice on how commissioners might achieve world-class National Health Service productivity to inform the second year of the world class commissioning assurance system and future commissioner development. McKinsey is providing extra capacity to support the department and the NHS to put in place the skills and resources to embed the national assurance system locally.

McKinsey representatives had attended a meeting of the Commissioning and System Management Executive Group in February 2009 where they presented on efficiency. This was prior to the advice being commissioned. The group was attended by departmental officials and representatives from strategic health authorities.

No meetings were held with McKinsey to discuss this work following its commission and no instructions to do so were issued to department officials or the NHS. McKinsey submitted its report by email on 18 March to the Director-General for Commissioning and System Management. The paper was subsequently shared with the NHS Management Board in May mainly as background information to inform the board's discussions.

The department considers that the information requested on cost is exempt from disclosure under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act. The information is commercially sensitive and would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of both the department and consultancy firms in future negotiations for consultancy support.