The publication of a consultation document for the 2015-16 national tariff payment system has been delayed by three weeks, officials have confirmed.
NHS England and the regulator Monitor, which is responsible for setting the parameters of the care payment system, have said that they want to take time to “look carefully” at feedback.
The document’s release had been planned for this week.
The national bodies said the consultation document would be released in three weeks’ time, with an aim to complete the consultation before the end of December.
A Monitor spokesman said: “Monitor and NHS England have reviewed our decision about when we will publish the consultation notice for the 2015-16 national tariff payment system.
“This had been planned for late October 2014.
“Following extensive engagement with the sector through our tariff engagement documents, we have received many helpful comments and inputs.
“We are taking the time to look very carefully at this feedback, so our proposals can reflect as well as possible what we have heard from the sector.
“We currently propose therefore to delay publication of the consultation notice for about three weeks. Our aim remains to complete the consultation before the end of December.
Nick Samuels, director of communications at the Foundation Trust Network, said: “This will be frustrating for trusts and commissioners trying to plan for next year.
“We already know it will be one of the most difficult ever financially and now there is less time to plan for it.
“However, the silver lining is that Monitor and NHS England have said the delay has arisen from their need to understand all the feedback they received from us and our members to their tariff consultation.
“Given the extra time they are giving themselves for that, we would expect the feedback to be clearly reflected in the tariff they eventually set.
“It is essential there is no further delay and they seek to avoid publication during the busy Christmas and new year period when everyone will be concentrating on quality and performance at the moment of highest risk and pressure.”