Trust under fire for £3m advisers bill

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ROTHERHAM Hospital has been criticised by trade unions and a local MP for spending almost 
£3 million on external advisers and management consultants.

John Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said the bill – which covers the last four years – was ‘indefensible’, while Pam Johnson, from Unison, said members were outraged.

But Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust said the costs were necessary and its £1,500 daily payment to temporary director of transformation Tim Bolot was justified.

Figures show the trust spent £2,965,718 on consultants from 2009 to the current financial year.

In October, proposals were made to cut 750 jobs at the hospital to save £50m by 2015.

Mr Healey said: “Every organisation needs outside expertise from time to time, but it’s indefensible to spend so much on external advisers when nurses, porters, secretaries and other hospital staff face cuts.”

Matthew Lowry, acting chief executive at the trust, said: “Employing external consultants can, on occasions, be necessary to enable the trust to buy in expertise or experience we simply don’t have, especially where this expertise is only needed for a time-limited basis.”

Campaigners were set to protest against the planned cuts outside the hospital today before handing over a petition with 3,000 signatures to a meeting of the trust’s council of governors.