A West Yorkshire hospital trust has been blasted for paying a City firm £15m – to cut its costs.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, which came under fire for charging disabled patients to use its car parks, is believed to have paid Ernst and Young £15m between October 2011 and November 2015.

And the trust, which runs Dewsbury District Hospital, paid Ernst and Young £2.3m in 2015 for its consultancy services, including cost-cutting advice.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff has slammed Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust (MYHT) for spending millions on the ‘big four’ company while hitting low-income patients, visitors and hospital staff with parking fees.

MYHT made £973,000 from parking charges in 2014/15, over half of which (£549,000) was paid by its staff.

Ms Sherriff said: “In October and November alone the total spend on Ernst and Young (EY) was £947,876.20.

Paula Sherriff, Labour MP for Dewsbury.
Paula Sherriff, Labour MP for Dewsbury.

“As I have mentioned on many occasions, if the trust can afford to spend millions on management consultant fees then they can afford to treat their staff, patients and carers with respect and stop ripping them off.”

MYHT defended the spend saying Ernst and Young’s contract, which ended in September, had brought financial stability to the trust.

The trust said that when its EY contract began in 2011 the trust had an underlying deficit of £37m – one of the largest in the NHS to date.

It said that over the last three years the trust had ‘significantly’ increased the number of patients it treated and had improved its quality of care – while cutting its expenditure by approximately 7% per year.

MYHT said the contract had enabled it to eradicate its deficit by 2016/17 – six years earlier than previously planned.

Dewsbury District Hospital
Dewsbury District Hospital

Concerning the last round of payments, Gary Boothby, MYHT Acting Director of Finance, added: “The latest payments made were the last instalments against the contract.

“The trust held a contract with EY until September 30, 2015. In line with (NHS) Trust Development Authority guidance, the contract extension between April 1, 2015 and September 30, 2015 was approved by the TDA.”

READ MORE: MP Paula Sherriff blasts hospital trust for 'ripping off' patients and staff with parking charges

READ MORE: West Yorkshire hospital trust made almost £1m in parking charges

MYHT, which also runs Wakefield Pinderfields Hospital and Pontefract General Infirmary, is reconsidering its parking charges for blue badge holders following pressure from Ms Sherriff to drop them.