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NHS England is set to spend up to £40m on management consultancy support for its commercial directorate, according to procurement documents seen by HSJ.

The commercial directorate says it needs specialists to support a major strategic transformation programme, as well as its efforts to find £1.5bn in savings, as well as everyday activities.

The contract would span four years, so could be worth up to £10m per year on average.

Currently, the commercial team would buy in this kind of external resource and expertise as and when it needed it. But it is now proposing a new model “that brings together these ad hoc requests for support under one agreement to provide ongoing support”, according to the specifications in the tender document.

It hopes this “longer-term, more considered approach” should “deliver better value for money and much greater efficiencies”, it added.

This comes as NHSE works its way through a prolonged major restructure, aiming to cut 9,000 jobs to reduce the organisation to around 15,000 posts.

The strategic commercial partnership will run for two years with the option to extend it by two more. NHSE hopes to start the contract in May this year. It is a zero-commitment deal, meaning NHSE will only pay for the services it requires. It has an upper spend limit of £10m a year.

The NHS as a whole, including NHSE, frequently come under political pressure to cut back on consultancy spending, although it has shown no sign of slowing since before the pandemic.

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Source: HSJ

Date: 25 March

Posted in News on Mar 24, 2024

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