MANAGEMENT consultants will get an extra £150,000 from taxpayers after a contract was extended to help the NHS find savings.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) signed a £344,560 deal with Deloitte for November to January that will now end on April 30.

The group – which has struggled with finances since forming last April – is now set to hand over £494,000.

The GP-led OCCG, which makes most NHS funding decisions in the county, said 12 Deloitte staff had identified £15.8m of savings for this year, 2014/15.

OCCG managed only £1.5m of a £3.49m savings programme in the year to March 31, for which it faces a £6.1m overspend.

Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith said: “These costs of consultancy are huge, especially given the financial pressures the NHS is under locally.

“As it stands, they seem to be spending more than planned on consultancy, yet realising less in savings and efficiency than planned.”

The OCCG, which is expected to spend £636.6m in 2013/14, has said higher than expected hospital workloads hit its finances.

A spokesman said: “It is not possible to employ sufficient expert staff to cover every eventuality. That is why there are times when we need specialist help.”

Its other spending on management consultants in 2013/14 was £785,364 to Cobic Solutions to develop a new way of buying services.