The DoH's response to the consultation on the health White Paper revealed that, in a number of areas, further detail will be revealed in the Health Bill, which is expected in January.
In Liberating the NHS: legislative framework and next steps the DoH said the Health Bill will set out in full the proposed statutory duties for consortia.
But it did confirm that there are ‘many’ PCT responsibilities that will not be passed to GP consortia.
It said: ‘Some PCT responsibilities will transfer to local authorities (particularly in relation to public health) or to the NHS Commissioning Board; some will be removed entirely; others will be subsumed within more general responsibilities or recast so that they better reflect the nature and functions of GP consortia.’
It also said the NHS Commissioning Board will also be responsible for commissioning high security psychiatric services, health services for those in prison and for the duties around healthcare for the armed forces and their families.
The DoH has revealed that GP consortia will be responsible for commissioning maternity services.