Consulting group CapGemini was paid £14.2m out of a total of £17.5m paid to
private management consultants to set up the National Health Service’s troubled
NHS 24 helpline, the Scotsman claimed.
An investigation by the paper also revealed that a senior NHS 24 employee
allegedly failed to register personal interests in CapGemini.
Furthermore, a report by Audit Scotland, also obtained by this newspaper,
found that NHS 24 chiefs failed to monitor payments to consultancy firms or to
ensure they were getting value for money.
According to Audit Scotland, one project undertaken by CapGemini was, in its
The report goes on to say: ‘NHS 24 makes substantial use of consultancy
services. And, as a developing, technology-based organisation, much of this use
was clearly appropriate. However, the pattern of repeated contract variation and
extension which occurred over the year suggests this option has been seen as a
quick and convenient solution.’
The Scottish Executive defended the decision to award the contract to
CapGemini saying the firm’s proposal ‘demonstrated value for money and was based
on their reputation in advising on and building call centres throughout the
CapGemini said there had been ‘absolutely’ no conflict of interest.
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