This morning Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told NHS leaders that the service must undertake a ‘fundamental rethink’ of how it spends its £110bn budget.
He has warned that the NHS needs to save £10bn a year by using fewer temporary staff and management consultants.
Just how much NHS leaders are spending on, for example, management consultants is something that Hunt knows, but we don’t... yet.
NHS England, unlike all other government agencies, does not make public how it spends our money.
A petition launched this week, which has so far been signed by 68,000 people, is demanding that NHS England publishes its spending data without delay. (It said it would publish its receipts in September, then October. It has yet to). This would reveal how much of NHS funds are going on management consultants, lawyers, accountants, PR campaigns and private healthcare companies.
Is Hunt trying to distance himself from NHS England by calling now for a “fundamental rethink” of how it spends our money?
Hunt cannot absolve himself of responsibility, however. It was the reforms brought in by this government that created NHS England, stewards of the NHS budget. The policies it has since pursued have been set out and encouraged by the Coalition.
Whatever NHS England is doing with our money is Hunt’s responsibility. We just now need to find out what Hunt knows and we don't. Sign the petition here.