The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has spent 40 times more on management consultants than before the pandemic, a Telegraph analysis has found.
Officials signed off almost £400 million of funds last year to companies to become more effective and cost-efficient.
In 2019, the comparative figure was less than £10 million.
It comes a year after leaked emails seen by The Telegraph showed that the Government was asking consultants for advice on ending the use of consultants.
The Cabinet Office at the time said that ministers were “concerned” the Government was “too reliant” on their use and should only be used where they are “value for money”.
Recent studies by Bristol and York universities into NHS trusts found that consultants tend to become less effective over time.
The authors of one study from 2018 said hard evidence that consultants make a positive difference is elusive.
The findings were called an “eye-watering” waste of taxpayers’ money by Parliament’s spending watchdog.
Deloitte takes largest share of money
In 2019, £9.9 million was spent on advisory bodies. That increased to £59.6 million in 2020, before hitting £388.8 million last year.
Deloitte took the largest share of consultancy spend, with the DHSC spending £84 million with the firm.
This was followed by technology giants IBM (£46 million), PA Consulting (£42 million), Bytes Software Services (£39 million) and Accenture (£17.3 million).
Overall, the Big Four Consultancy firms – Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PWC – were paid £107 million for their services.
The DHSC was contacted for comment.