NHS ‘Improvement’ hatchet man returns to his previous employer Deloitte, after awarding them a £400K contract

  • NHS ‘Improvement’ hatchet man returns to his previous employer Deloitte, after awarding them a £400K contract to come up with new ways for hospitals to cut spending on procurement of essential goods and services.
  • NHS cost cutter Michael Hyne, currently acting director of Procurement and Corporate Services at NHS Improvement in Leeds, is taking his 3rd spin through the revolving door that links the NHS and Deloitte.
  • The NHS procurement staff association says there’s no need to spend £400k on Deloitte – NHS staff have the skills to come up with a new hospitals’ procurement efficiency model themselves, following the failure of the Carter operational efficiency model that was key to the Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

Deloitte is one of the big 4 consultancy companies that last year faced fines of £10m or more for serious rule breaches.

This year the Competition and Markets Authority have put on them on notice that they have five years to get their houses in order or else they must split their companies into two entirely independent businesses – one for audits, the other for management consultancy.

Michael Hyne came to NHS Improvement from Deloitte in April 2017 and now he is hurrying back there.

He has used his time at NHS Improvement to award his previous employer a £400K contract, to find ways for hospitals to cut spending on things like estates, facilities and IT.

The proposed new procurement model doesn’t cover things provided by the NHS Supply Chain. These range from items for infection control and wound care, to diagnostic equipment and associated consumables, and NHS Hotel Services.

NHS Improvement’s corporate policy and conflict of interest rules seriously need tightening up

NHS Improvement told the Health Services Journal that Michael Hyne’s jumping ship back to his previous employer, Deloitte, does not breach its corporate policy.

Nor are there any conflict of interest issues relating to the £400k contract award to Deloitte, that Michael Hyne was involved in as Acting Director of Procurement and Corporate Services at NHS Improvement.

That’s all right then.

NHS procurement staff association says no need for Deloitte – they can figure out how to make cuts themselves

The Deloitte contract with NHS Improvement, to come up with an “efficiency model” for hospitals, could mean local procurement teams have to consolidate and use “significant technology automation”, according to the Health Services Journal.

At the moment, there are around 4,000 procurement staff working in the NHS. The Health Care Supply Association, which represents them, told the Health Services Journal that it did not see the need for consultants to be hired to develop the hospitals efficiency model, as there was “enough expertise in the system” already.

The deadline for Deloitte to produce the plan to cut hospitals procurement costs was the end of March.

The new plan for cutting hospitals’ operational costs follows the failure of the Carter hospitals efficiency cuts scheme. This scheme was first trumpeted at the 2015 Dept of Health Procurement Trade Show in Birmingham.

A report by Whitehouse Consulting says they have seen a leaked blueprint for the proposed new hospitals procurement “efficiency model”.

This apparently indicates that individual trusts – currently responsible for how they buy items across IT, estates and services – could cede their autonomy to national teams, each responsible for:

“overseeing buying strategies for individual categories worth up to £10 billion [and] for implementing the category strategies at local level and focusing on logistics and supply chain issues.”

The leaked document also highlights that roles in hospital procurement will become:

‘more focused on change management, demand management and business/clinical partnering’, meaning that staff will be asked to focus on contract management and other commercial tasks.”

The focus on “demand management” is crucial – that means cuts.

While “change management” can surely only refer to the accelerating development of Sustainability and Transformation Plans into Integrated Care Systems/Providers, and replacing the discarded Carter Operating Efficiency model?

Making a career of hospital cuts

Michael Hyne’s Linked In cv shows that last time he was at Deloitte, he provided professional advice to healthcare organisations in turnaround. In other words he was parachuted into broke, underfunded NHS organisations and told them what to cut.

Before that, from 2011-12 at Ernst and Young he advised a Foundation Trust on Integration with a non FT, and advised NHS Trusts on £multi-million cost reduction projects.

He started his NHS axeman career at Barnsley Hospital, where he worked from 2008-2011 on cost reduction programmes, income and expenditure analysis and Business Case Support.

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