Research by market intelligence firm Laing and Buisson’s NHS Financial Information 2012 showed consultancy spend across the NHS in England and Wales fell by a quarter from £605m in 2009/2010 to £452m in 2010/2011.
SHAs were found to have spent “considerably less” on external consultants, down from £53m to £35m last year.
Specific examples include Camden PCT, which spent £12.2m in 2009/2010 but only £2.1m in 2010/2011, and Tower Hamlets, which reported a similarly dramatic decline from £8.8m to £2.9m.
“The figures make sense as PCTs know they are disbanding and are increasingly divesting to CCGs,” said Philip Blackburn, Analyst at Laing and Buisson.
“There is certainly a ‘winding-up’ trend among PCTs where there is no new spend and a lapse in existing spend.”
Budget pressures for NHS services have also led to a “clear cut in temporary staffing usage” by NHS organisations in 2010/2011, according to the data.
Total spending on temporary staffing resources by the NHS in the UK (covering agency, locum, bank, secondments and short-term contracts) was estimated at £3.71bn in 2010/2011, shrinking by 7.4% from £4.01bn in 2009/2010.
PCTs were found to have reduced their overall use of temporary staff from 9.8% of staff costs to 7.9%.
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