The RCN has welcomed a call by the Health Select Committee for full disclosure on management consultant spending in the NHS.
At RCN congress this year, the college released figures from a freedom of information request showing that the NHS spent £350 million on external management consultants in the last financial year.
Of this £350 million, 78% was unrelated to direct patient care, the college said.
RCN general secretary, Peter Carter, said: ‘These figures are utterly shocking when you consider the difference that this money (£273 million) could have made to patients.
‘Before the Department of Health and local health trusts look at cutting frontline services, training budgets or new facilities, they need to look very carefully at the money spent on external advice and what value is added to the patient experience.
‘With budget cuts on the horizon, patients and staff have a right to know that money spent on management consultants is delivering good value for money, and to see evidence of how it is improving patient care,’ he added.
The RCN has also called for the government to collect lists of the management consultants employed by the NHS, indicating the projects they are employed on, their duration, cost and purpose.