The Department of Health has published a “working document” to clarify what functions commissioning consortia will have to perform.

The document sets out the statutory duties and key statutory powers of consortia, as well as examples of what GP commissioning could look like.

Financial and other support for consortia could be available from the NHS Commissioning Board and consortia can also buy in support, according to the document.

It says consortia will have responsibility for patients in their area that are not registered with a GP, and anyone needing emergency care in the area.

The guidance confirms that consortia will determine how the proposed “quality premium” is shared between constituent practices. It also suggests that financial risks and rewards could be shared with non-NHS bodies.

The document adds that consortia could use “forms of risk-sharing and benefits realisation with other consortia, the NHS Commissioning Board and other potential partners”. They will also have the power to pool commissioning funds and running costs with other consortia.

On governance, it says consortia will only have to present a report on how it has discharged its functions annually.