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Vendor-neutral consultancies with low-risk fee structures are compromise the NHS needs

VENDOR-NEUTRAL consultancies offering low-risk fee structures may be the compromise between long-term sustainability and the need for immediate savings in the NHS- de Poel.

The announcement from the number-one procurer of temporary agency labour, who manage the supply of temporary workers for more than 50 clients across the UK, comes in response to government plans to cut public spending by £12bn by being more efficient.

Unlike other management consultancies, de Poel says that vendor-neutral consultancies with low-risk fee structures can help manage NHS processes but with the added value of impartiality and without any initial outlay.

This is a compromise between arguments for long-term strategies to improve NHS services in the future, and the need for immediate cut-backs highlighted by the Chancellor Alistair Darling this week.

Chief Executive of de Poel, Matthew Sanders, said: -The argument against NHS outsourcing focuses primarily on how expensive management consultancies are, but this isn’t always the case.

-Our client-base for example, which includes charitable organisations with very limited spend, are only charged a percentage on the money they save. There is no initial outlay, and if they don’t make any savings, they don’t pay a penny.

He added: -Though there may be some things which the NHS can manage internally, there are others- such as the supply of temporary agency labour, likely to increase with a slashed workforce – which the NHS has neither the capacity nor the expertise to manage in-house.

-Unmanaged, the use of temporary agency labour poses huge legal, financial and qualitative risks to the NHS, as it remains one of the largest unregulated industries in Britain.

In his speech in central London which unveiled plans to reduce public spending, Prime Minister Gordon Brown also made reference to the value of technological advances in improving efficiency and bringing down cost.

Mr Sanders agreed, saying that the increase in organisational efficiency acknowledged by every single one of his clients in the most part came down to use of de Poel’s electronic timesheet and invoice-processing system.

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