A total of 29 community service transfers involving 35 primary care trusts have been delayed beyond the Department of Health’s 1 April deadline, the DH has admitted.

The delays account for more than one in 10 of the 281 planned transfers across 151 PCTs.

The DH said most of the hold-ups were associated with complex transfers involving foundation trust providers.

NHS Milton Keynes, one of three PCTs with particularly complex transfer plans, is the only one the DH says has not made “substantial progress” on divestment. It is now expected to complete in November.

Another two with complex cases have agreed longer time-scales with the DH. These are NHS Surrey, which has until December, and the Isle of Wight, which has a two year extension.

Several PCTs were late in submitting plans to Monitor, which is risk assessing transfers to foundation trusts.

As previously reported by HSJ, capacity problems at Monitor have also caused delays. NHS Wiltshire’s proposed transfer to Great Western Hospitals Foundation Trust is awaiting a decision from the Monitor board. A further four decisions are also in the Monitor assessment pipeline.

Extensions to September 2011 were allowed for 47 transfers to new social enterprises. Of these, 10 had not completed transfer on 1 April.

The DH said all other PCTs had transferred their community services, or achieved “internal separation” and were on track to complete their transfers in the first half of 2011-12.