One little vignette for the UK tax payers amongst you.
Along side buying goods and services for the NHS Acute trust for whom I work, my department (or to be a little less self aggrandizing the department of which I am a part) also provides a similar service for our County's Primary Care Trust. The organisation responsible for the provision of first stop health services (like GP surgeries and clinics) and importantly local strategic planning.
Imagine my surprise then at the request from the PCT that we initiate a tendering process to find a consultancy service to come up with a Strategic Health Plan for them. At an estimated cost of £60,000 a year.
I know that the once mighty pound is now worth little more than Monopoly money and slightly less than the chocolate coins that my children regularly binge on but that's still a reasonable amount of money to pay an external contractor to come up with the sort of stuff that they should be producing as a matter of course.
I'm glad the UK is in such a strong economic position. Otherwise the spending of £60k here and £100k there multiplied all over the country on pointless consultancy exercises might actually be taking scarce resources away from areas of health care that actually need the funding.