NHS spent £313m on consultants
The NHS in England has spent more than £300 million on management consultants in the past year, figures show.
The cost is almost the same as the amount spent on skin and lung cancer services combined, the data for 2009/10 showed.
The Government released the figures to show how much was spent on management consultants - as well as advice from architects, lawyers and surveyors - in the last year of the Labour government.
Overall, primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) spent £313.9 million on consultancy services.
In the West Midlands, £29.38 million was spent on the services, while in the east of England the figure was £27.2 million.
London spent £114 million, the South East spent £22.5 million and the south central part of the country spent £23.3 million.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, said: "I am staggered by the scale of the expenditure on management consultants in the NHS.
"Even at a time when it became clear that the nation's borrowing was out of control, Labour allowed wasteful spending to blossom.
"In contrast, I have asked PCTs and SHAs to reduce their management costs by 46% over the next four years. This will root out unnecessary bureaucracy and any expensive duplication of functions.
"Every penny saved will be reinvested in improving patient care, meeting demand and driving up quality."