this week

Publication of the Department of Health document Shifting the Balance, which spells out the future of strategic health authorities and primary care trusts, has been delayed while the report is substantially reworked.

In his presentation to the NHS Confederation conference in the first week of July and his bulletin of the same week, NHS chief executive Nigel Crisp promised the document would be available within the week.

A DoH spokesperson said:

'The document is so significant it was important to get it absolutely right - it was recognised that more work was needed on it.'

With uncertainty about exactly when the report will be ready, the already tight timetable now looks extremely shaky.

A human resources document on the transition was also due this month, with consultation on the reconfiguration scheduled to be completed next month.

Meanwhile, HAs are continuing to work on defining boundaries of the future SHAs and identifying project leaders to head them.