The development of a tariff, designed with significant clinician and stakeholder involvement, is a direct response to NHS feedback that the current classification system does not appropriately recognise the range in complexity of procedures and treatments and current clinical processes.

This is its main, and as the article recognises, laudable aim.

We recognise the significance of moving to this new classification - that a more sophisticated tariff which recognises the range of treatment complexity, wherever it takes place, may cause income fluctuation, which is why the modelling phase is important to do robustly.

However, we also recognise the importance of financial stability to organisations, especially at a time when the NHS has returned to overall financial health.

What the DH has put in place in response to the review is there to avoid the situations outlined in HSJ's article. It is disappointing that information from an incomplete process has resulted in a story that could be perceived as both confusing and alarmist.

David Flory, director general, NHS finance, performance and operations