In order to work out if the hospitals Trust is sustainable, given its deficit, the Trust has commissioned Ernst and Young (EY) to come up with a 5 Year Strategic Plan by the end of December 2015. The cost is expected to be £1m, according to a forecast in the Trust’s financial report to the October 29th Board meeting. £1m for 3 months work seems like a good definition of exorbitant.
At the 21st October Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, Councillors didn’t question why a profiteering, global management consultancy/accountancy company should decide the future of our hospitals, and the community health services that the hospitals Trust also provides.
The remit for the EY 5 Year Strategic Plan is broad. It is meant to:
Lay out a clear vision and direction for the Trust that will transform the organisationto optimise the quality of care and outcomes delivered and achieve sustainablefinancial balance
Demonstrate how the Trust will contribute and respond to health economy-wide andcommissioner-led plans…
Demonstrate how the Trust will align with and maximise the opportunities presented by the national strategic landscape including NHS Five Year Forward View and its respective provider models.
Will Councillors and the public have access to the Strategic Five Year Plan? Councillors didn’t ask.
But bear in mind that when KPMG (another of the accountancy/management consultancy usual suspects) were called in to review the state of the Staffordshire local health economy, NHS England took care to keep the report secret even from local Councillors, as is shown in this FOI correspondence. The Report only became public when a local MP leaked it.
Ernst and Young are scheduled to complete this Plan by the end of December, which should allow public consultation to start in January 2016. All things being equal. Except they’re not, as the JHSC meeting found out. The Monitor rep told Councillors that there is uncertainty about whether the Treasury and Department of Health will agree to cough up capital funding for the hospital service changes and for double running costs, while the Care Closer to Home system is set up. He continued:
“Some factors are beyond our control… We’ve started conversations with the Department of Health and the Treasury but can’t say when they will decide. If funding isn’t forthcoming, we can’t consult.
The public consultation is likely to be 90 days. This runs the risk of running into the purdah period for the local council elections. That needs to be put on the table now.”
Updated 28 October with information about the £1m forecast cost of contracting EY to write the the Strategic Five Year Plan for the Trust. (p 7 of the MONTH 6 – FINANCIAL NARRATIVE – SEPTEMBER 2015, which is on p 277 of the 315 pages of documents for the October 29 2015 Board Meeting.
However the Halifax Courier has reported that the Trust’s financial director Keith Griffiths has said that the Trust expects to pay Ernst and Young less than £1m:
“While the terms of the contract remain commercially confidential the cost is significantly less than the £1m ceiling for this and will only be made on completion of the plan.”