Significant variations in the way primary care trusts and clusters are carrying out their roles are highlighted in an HSJ analysis.

While some of the 24 PCTs and clusters sampled are racing ahead of deadlines to share staff and efficiency savings with GPs, others are being reprimanded for lagging.

All PCTs must assign at least four employees to consortia by the end of this month but so far only four of the organisations sampled have done so.

Of these, Derbyshire County – clustered with NHS Derby City – has allocated two senior members of the finance team to North and South Derbyshire consortia and designated a further 12 finance managers as “consortia facing”.

This followed a meeting with NHS East Midlands in which the cluster was told a “shift in mindset was required” in order to create an organisation which focused on assurance, not control, according to board papers.

The Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth cluster has assigned five directors to local consortia.

NHS Hull and NHS Tameside and Glossop have both assigned the minimum number of directors, which must include a finance manager, and organisational development, governance and commissioning experts.

There is also little uniformity in board shape and structure. Meanwhile, only six of the 24 organisations have made GPs responsible for QIPP savings in 2011-12 and the amounts vary considerably, even within clusters. Most are focusing on savings to prescribing, urgent care and long term conditions budgets.