Published: 01/09/2005, Volume II5, No. 5971 Page 8

Trent strategic health authority would like to clarify the situation on the reconfiguration of primary care trusts in its area (news, page 7, 25 August), writes chief executive Alan Burns.

The reconfiguration will be based on proposals coming from PCTs; they will best understand the correct configuration for the future.

In a document sent to PCT chairs last month, the SHA set out an accelerated timetable which outlined a target date for reconfigurations of April 2006. This was not a definitive deadline, although we appreciate it was open to misinterpretation. While many PCT chiefs have expressed a desire for early mergers, no decision on an early timetable has been taken.

As time goes by, meeting an April target seems increasingly unlikely.

Trent will be working at a similar pace to the rest of the country, with an effective date at some point between April and October 2006.

I was reported in last week's HSJ demanding PCTs work to the earlier deadline. This is not the case. While I was correctly quoted talking about some of the benefits of an earlier timetable I also said that, given the difficulties of holding a 90-day consultation by April, it was unlikely it could be done.