A DoH spokeswoman confirmed that PCTs should ‘continue to develop proposals to separate themselves from their directly-provided community services.'
Mr Lansley announced at the end of May that all Labour reforms must stop until they have the full backing of local GPs and are supported by robust clinical evidence.
He also announced that regional offices of a new independent NHS board will take over the role of SHAs by 2012. But a DoH spokeswoman confirmed SHAs will continue to oversee the reorganisation of community services in each region.
Around a quarter of PCTs plan to hand over their community services to acute trusts as part of the reforms. In other areas, services will be taken over by social enterprises, local government or private providers.
Final decisions on the future of community services will be outlined in the DoH's next white paper, the DoH said.
- Read this week's Independent Nurse dated 7 June for the RCN reaction to this story.