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Improving care, reducing costs

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA)
16 September 2009 

MCA (Management Consultancies Association) explodes the myths about management consulting and the NHS in its report.

Andy Mullins, who leads PA Consulting Group’s public sector health services, contributed to the MCA report. Andy is quoted on the use of innovative solutions to reduce missed appointments, saying "We’ve been working with several mental health trusts to help them improve patient experience from the beginning to the end of their treatment. An obstacle one trust faced was the high number of substance misusers who weren’t turning up for appointments, wasting huge amounts of time and resources in the process. We used our experience in researching consumer products in the private sector to run a series of focus groups among substance abusers. One of the solutions really surprised us and the staff. That was to install dog kennels at the outpatient clinic: many of these patients are living rough and for them their only social bond is with their pets and it emerged that they were very worried about them being looked after and being kept safe while they went for an appointment. After the kennels were installed, attendance rates went up dramatically. Someone said to us, this is so simple, why didn’t we think of this for ourselves? One of the ways consultants can help is to support clients in being more creative and thinking outside the box."

According to the report the NHS spent around 0.3% of its budget on management consultancy in 2008 and many consultancy projects led to NHS savings far in excess of their cost.

This MCA report contains the first authoritative analysis of how much the NHS spends on management consultancy and the types of work that management consultants do. It is based on detailed research with MCA member companies, and contains a series of case studies.

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