Trusts were asked too early to move care out of hospitals into the community, the Department of Health's director-general of commissioning has said.

The changes, set out in last year's Our Health, Our Care, Our Say white paper, were 'the right thing at the wrong time' Mark Britnell said.

Launching the reforms just as trusts were being asked to 'save millions' was a mistake and meant they had not taken off as hoped.

'Last year was not the best year to launch Our Health, Our Care, Our Say,' Mr Britnell said. But he added: 'I do believe the work that was done last year involving thousands of patients and professionals is now being re-energised.'

He was speaking at a DoH conference on commissioning for people with long-term conditions. 'We really haven't broken through in terms of commissioning for long-term conditions,' Mr Britnell said.

To drive improvements in this area, he said primary care trusts would be asked to identify 10-15 key outcomes to achieve over three to five years and 'long-term conditions will be in there'.

'We are not going to set a target,' he said. We're going to ask PCTs what they think is important for the populations they serve.'