£17.5m spent on management consultants by NHS 24

The troubled health helpline NHS 24 spent £17.5m on private management consultants since 2001, with the vast majority of that money going to one firm, Cap Gemini, which received £14.2m. The money was paid out even though key aspects of the blueprint for setting up NHS 24 turned out to be badly flawed.

An investigation has also established that a senior NHS 24 employee failed to register personal interests in CapGemini. Scotland on Sunday asked for details of NHS 24's spending on management consultants, under the Freedom of Information Act.

In 2004/05, NHS 24 paid out £3.1m to consultants, with £2.9m going to CapGemini, while figures from the English health helpline NHS Direct show it spent just £760,800 on consultancies. Politicians are now demanding the Scottish Executive investigate how the contracts were awarded.

Sick joke of NHS 24's £17m consultants' cheques (Scotland on Sunday, 7 May 2006)