Last Updated: March, 2019

McKinsey is the largest management consultancy in the world. An expose in the Mail on Sunday revealed how it has lavished NHS regulators, drawn up proposals for the  2012 Health and Social Care Act , and used its government access to share information with other clients. McKinsey have been called by some the firm that hijacked the NHS because of their undue influence at every level.

In 2009 They produced a report commissioned by New Labour Health Secretary Alan Johnson. It was denounced by the Tories at the time, but they (with then Health Secretary  Andrew Lansley ) later published and implemented it. The report itself consisted of 124 largely unconnected Power-Point slides with no supporting evidence. It argued that the funding gap for the NHS will reach £20-billion by 2015, then it set out various speculative proposals as to how £20-billion could be cut from the NHS budget. These later became a set of mandates dubbed the  Nicholson Challenge . These plans have shaped local Trust and commissioner boards to become agents of cost cutting.

McKinsey's Proposals

  • A 10 percent reduction in staff.
  • A reduction in medical school training places.
  • Offering GPs and community nurses early retirement.
  • Pressing remaining staff to work more intensively.
  • A concerted effort to push through hospital reconfigurations.
  • Reducing the tariff paid to hospitals for patient care.
  • Estate optimisation - selling off spare land and buildings.
  • Limiting access to certain clinical procedures including; hip and knee replacements, tonsillectomy, back pain injections, grommets, hernia operations, varicose veins, minor skin surgery and wisdom tooth extraction.
  • Reducing GP consultation times.

McKinsey also recommended a National NHS IT Programme -  Connecting for Health  - to be run by a consultant from Deloitte. This project (which also cost about £20-billion) is largely non-operational.

Revolving Door

David Bennett spent 18 years with McKinsey before becoming Chief Policy Advisor to Tony Blair. He went on to become Chief Executive of  Monitor .

Penny Dash who briefly worked for  Kaiser Permanente  during the 1990s before becoming Head of Strategy at the Department of Health, went on to join McKinsey. She helped develop  NHS Plan 2000 .

Tom Kibasi rejoined McKinsey after 2-years out as Senior Policy Advisor to former NHS Chief Executive, David Nicholson. He went on to become the director for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank.