Official letters to be sent to primary care trust staff about the future of their jobs this month have undergone a change in wording, with passages discussing an ongoing lack of clarity removed from the text.

HSJ has seen the final draft of the letters to be sent out by 31 January, after reporting on an earlier version last week.

The final letters were circulated this week to PCT chiefs and human resources leaders along with strategic health authority leaders, Department of Health officials

As before, there will still be two letters – one for staff where it has been decided where their function will transfer after PCTs are abolished in April 2013, and one for staff where the future of their role is unclear.

However, the following passage, seen in the earlier draft, has been removed from both versions: “Ideally I would like to be able to let you know specifically how you will be affected by the changes but at the moment there is a lack of clarity about the future organisations.”

The letter previously marked for staff who had “no clarity” over their future role is now headed “for staff affected by transition where destination of function is yet to be determined”.

Letters of explanation sent to PCTs from Sir Neil McKay, the Department of Health’s HR transition lead, read: “These are your letters to your staff and you will want to personalise them and develop the templates in line with any local plans and progress that you have made. 

“However, to ensure that we maintain a consistent message we request that you do not alter the fundamental wording or structure of the first three paragraphs of the letter.”

Sir Neil also urged managers to ensure that the letters were sent to staff on secondment, on parental or sick leave and “staff working in programmes/functions whose contracts you host”.