In his response to the Public Accounts' Committee's (PAC) report on central government's use of external management consultants in England, Chairman of the British Medical Association's (BMA) Consultants' Committee, Dr Jonathan Fielden, said:
"It is appalling that following a year that has seen health service jobs frozen and patient services cut in order to balance NHS books, we hear that the government has been spending £2 billion a year on external consultants.
"Those on the ground rarely see the benefits of this vast expenditure and patients could certainly get much better value for their £2bn. It seems that the government has let this run out of control; consultancy firms are taking them for a ride.
"When it comes to the NHS, there is a great deal of expertise in-house if only the government bothered to listen. Doctors will put quality care first, not finance. This is not what ministers want to hear, so they choose to pay an external firm to say what they want to hear. What a disgraceful waste of taxpayers' money."