NHS selects 107 consultancies for Management Consultancy Framework

30 July 2018 Consultancy.uk 10 min. read

The NHS Shared Business Services has selected a group of 107 management consulting firms to assist the institution’s complex strategic, organsiation and transformational changes over the next five years. As well as the world’s largest professional services and strategy consulting firms, the list also features a number of boutique and healthcare specialists.

With a host of new challenges presenting major hurdles to the National Health Service, the treasured British institution is continuously turning to external expertise to help navigate this difficult time. The consulting industry is being tapped by the NHS to face stagnant government funding, staff shortages, cybersecurity issues, and pressures resulting from a rapidly ageing population, among other obstacles to the maintenance of the keystone public service.

In order to facilitate change programmes led by consultants, while ensuring value for money is delivered by consulting with the private sector, the NHS Shared Business Services – an entity which provides business support services to the NHS – has put in place framework agreements to maintain quality control and cap prices. As well as reducing costs, these frameworks can also streamline and harmonise the hiring processes across NHS bodies – as lengthy tender processes are reduced by having a list of preferred suppliers in place – and across the full spectrum of operations, covering everything from audit services and construction consultancy to catering, facilities and management consulting.

According to the NHS’ website, “The framework agreements offer a swift, convenient and compliant route to market, combined with typical savings of around 10%.”

NHS selects 107 consultancies for Management Consultancy Framework

The latter, hiring of management consulting services, is organised in the ‘Consult 18: Multidisciplinary Consultancy Services’ framework, which covers consulting service lines including strategy, organisation, leadership, healthcare transformation, IT, digitisation, finance, HR, supply chain, innovation and human capital. Following a rigorous, transparent, OJEU-compliant procurement process, 107 consulting firms were selected for the framework. In the eyes of NHS Shared Business Services (the entity also manages and oversees framework agreements) the selected firms are top firms in the marketplace in the field of healthare consulting, and have a demonstrated track record with the NHS, as well as in providing services in line with NHS’s requirements for quality, pricing and their working approach.

The largest multifaceted professional services firms in the world, known collectively as the Big Four – PwCDeloitteEY and KPMG – are among the successful entities, with their eclectic mix of service lines capable of fitting with almost any requirement of NHS consulting contracts. They are joined by the world’s top three strategy firms, the famous MBB – consisting of McKinsey & CompanyBain & Company and the Boston Consulting Company – who are well positioned to provide holistic advice on a range of vital cultural and practical changes needed to ensure the survival of the health institution.

Beyond the list of usual suspects which experts have come to expect in these awards, however, a number of boutique firms are also present – a group which a separate UK Government framework for consultants was recently accused of neglecting. Among them are bid management firm 60sticks, infrastructure consultancy i3Works, transformation specialists Green & Kassab, decarbonisation firm CarbonBit and architecture integration group Glue Reply.

These firms were joined by a host of specialist healthcare consultancies, which have a long-standing relationship with the NHS and the broader UK health sector. Among them are five in-house professional services entities from the NHS itself; NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit (AGCSU); NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit (hosted by NHS Commissioning Board known as NHS England); NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit; NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit; and the overall NHS Transformation Unit. Beyond that, a number of private sector organisations also made the grade, including Candesic, a winner of the HealthInvestor Awardsregular NHS contractor Carnall Farrar; STO Healthcare; Rubicon Health Consulting; Healthcare Improvement Experts; Pulse Healthcare; Siemens Healthcare and the Workforce Development Trust t/a Skills for Health.

The consulting firms have been selected across ten different lots:

LOT 1 Healthcare Business Consultancy, Leadership & Governance Strategy
Specialist consultancy and advisory services related to the provision of support for the leadership and management of healthcare organisations, including matters of corporate/organisational governance and strategy.

LOT 2 Healthcare Service Business & Transformation
Specialist consultancy and advisory services related to the operational delivery, development and transformation of services provided by healthcare organisations, including matters of business/service improvement and performance.

LOT 3 Healthcare Innovation & Research
With pharmaceutical prices currently rising exponentially, and the potential schism caused by Brexit possibly severing continental cooperation on medical matters between researchers in the UK and the continent, albeit temporarily, the fostering of innovation and research within the NHS is increasingly important.

LOT 4 Health & Community
Services in the community that enable people to live healthy, fulfilled and independent lives. Covers a wide range of care, from supporting patients to manage long-term conditions, to treating those who are seriously ill with complex conditions.

LOT 5 IT Consultancy
Specialist consultancy and advisory services related to the use of data and information used within the Public Sector, including the review, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities/ systems associated with the delivery of services.

LOT 6 Finance
Firms will work to help the NHS balance its tightening budget, as state spending on the institution continues to ask the institution to do more with less.

The NHS has been facing difficulties in staffing for some time. While stagnant wages and deteriorating working conditions have seen younger generations turning away from working in healthcare, as a number of staff approach retirement age, compounding the UK’s ageing population, while the supply of employees from the EU threatens to dry up post-Brexit, consulting on how to best compete for new talent is paramount for the survival of the NHS.

LOT 8 Transport & Logistics
As mentioned, reducing costs has become core business of every single day in the NHS. The reduction of costs while transporting more and more people and goods, complying with ever-increasing legislation, reducing carbon and increasing safety is what NHS fleet managers or their equivalent have to do, and clearly show that they are doing it

LOT 9 Education
While bringing in new staff is a key priority of the NHS, so is retaining and up-skilling its current workforce. Consultants in this lot will need to work to keep staff with the NHS in tune with the fast-changing world of digital technology, which has become a key avenue for the delivery of services, as well as a way of cutting costs.

LOT 10 Ancillary Consultancy Services
General management consultancy services, particularly where the scope of service does not fall under any of the other lots.

Consulting contracts to framework suppliers can either be directly awarded (providing certain requirements are met) or will follow from mini competitions that aim at getting some competition between the suppliers and getting best one.  The ‘Consult 18: Multidisciplinary Consultancy Services’ framework agreement formally runs from July 2018 to July 2022.

The full list of consulting firms on NHS’ Consult 18 framework agreement is as follows:

4C Strategies
Akeso & Company
Aleron Partners
Amicus ITS
Arcus Global
NHS Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit (AGCSU)
Attain Health Management Services
Banks Cannell
C2E Consulting
Asphalia Holdings (trading as Care Field Consultancy)
Carnall Farrar
Castlerigg Consulting
Channel 3 Consulting  
Coventry University Services
CPC Project Services
Croner Group
ESRO (trading as Revealing Reality)
Essentia Trading
Evolve-IT Consulting
Frazer-Nash Consultancy
Frontline Consultants
Frost & Sullivan
FTI Consulting
Fusion Health
Glue Reply (a trading name of Reply)
Grant Thornton
Green & Kassab (trading as GK Transformation)
Hall Aitken
Rubicon Health Consulting
Healthcare Improvement Experts
In-Form Solutions
Market & Opinion Research International (trading as Ipsos MORI)
Kier Business Services (trading as Kier Workplace Services)
Kingsgate Interim Advisory and Investments
Korn Ferry
L.E.K. Consulting
Leadership Centre for Local Government
Liaison Financial Services
London Economics
Low Carbon Europe
Matrix Insight (operating as Optimity Advisors)
Maxwell Stanley Consulting
McKinsey & Company
Morgan Hunt UK (trading as Medical Project Partnership)
Meridian Productivity
Moorhouse Consulting
Mott MacDonald
RS Consulting (trading as Breaking Blue)
Navigant Consulting (Europe)
NHS North of England Commissioning Support Unit (hosted by NHS Commissioning Board known as NHS England)
NEL Commissioning Support Unit
NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commisisoning Support Unit
NHS South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit
NHS Transformation Unit
Niche Strategic Health Partners
Ove Arup and Partners
PA Consulting Group  
Foundation for Genomics and Population Health (PHG Foundation)
Pick Everard
Private Public
Premier Advisory Group 
Primary Care Commissioning Community Interest Company (PCC CIC)
Public Consulting Group
Pulse Healthcare (trading as Espirita)
Rider Levett Bucknall
Risk & Policy Analysts
Siemens Healthcare
The Consultancy Company
Healthcare Clinical Informatics (The HCI Group)
The Involve Foundation
The Retearn Group
The Wellbeing Collective
TogetherBetter Collaborative Consultancy
Vela Group
Carter & Corson Partnership
Gifford James
The Workforce Development Trust t/a Skills for Health
Element 9
STO Healthcare