'The NHS financial watchdog paid half a million pounds to a consultancy firm to define its ‘purpose’.
NHS Improvement - which oversees hospital spending - hired McKinsey on the lucrative contract earlier this month.
The firm will aim to clarify the watchdog’s ‘purpose and operating model’ by speaking to hospital chief executives.
Critics described the spend as ‘scandalous’ at a time when the NHS is facing an unprecedented cash crisis.
Only two years ago the watchdog paid £630,000 to another consultancy firm KPMG to help define its ‘organisational structure.’
And in November it admitted is new boss Ian Dalton would be on a salary of £300,000 a year - double that of the Prime Minister.
The details of the contract with McKinsey were leaked to the Health Service Journal.
Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: ‘This is an alarming sum of money being handed to a management consultant firm at a time of profound pressure on NHS finances.
‘The ballooning costs of consultancy fees is entirely unacceptable, especially given the scandalous findings recently that management consultants are in many cases making the NHS less efficient.'
Read more: NHS financial watchdog pays consultancy firm £500,000 to define its 'purpose' in a move branded 'scandalous' by critics
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