You couldn’t make it up. Nine months ago North West London’s NHS bosses were told by Matt Hancock that their long-running, ruinously expensive and impractical plans for reconfiguration (“Shaping a Healthier Future”) was being scrapped.

The project had squandered almost £80m on management consultancy over the previous ten years, but never even completed a business case. One of the contractors was McKinsey.

50 Failures in NHS outsourcing review (2013-2019)

Now NHS England/Improvement have announced NW London’s “integrated care system” should be chaired by a senior partner of McKinsey – Penny Dash.

McKinsey’s website notes that she is “a leader for our work with healthcare payors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa”: another McKinsey biog extends her reach to Australia. She was previously the head of strategy for the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, and was the vice chair of The King’s Fund from 2006 to 2015.

So having lamentably failed so far to deliver a workable plan, McKinsey gets another go.

The results so far are poor: December A&E figures include only 2 of the 4 trusts covering NW London: London NW Hospitals could only see 60.8% of the most serious Type 1 A&R cases within 4 hours, while Hillingdon did even worse, at 56.3%.

If this is the outcome of ten years of McKinsey’s efforts, how much more “improvement” can local services survive?

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