NHS Confederation PCT Network director David Stout said that clustering will have many positive implications, but could have a negative effect on working relationships.
'Trust is built up over time,' he said. 'There is a risk that by restructuring, you break some of the working relationships that have been in place.'
Mr Stout added that PCT clusters would give consortia 'more space to emerge into', but he warned that they must not lose their local focus.
For PCT clusters to work effectively, local leadership must be working well, Mr Stout said. At a local level Mr Stout said that he did not expect to see PCTs completely disappear. Some would effectively remain operational as local outposts of clusters in their local area, he said. 'I haven't seen a cluster that has taken all of its resources into the centre of the cluster,' he said.
Communication between local areas and the cluster will be extremely important to 'avoid any unintended difficulty', he said.