A DoH spokesman said that the pace of the review was 'ambitious, but not overly so', and stressed that: 'We share the view of doctors that changes will take time to implement and will be incremental.'
BMA council chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum revealed last week that he had written to health minister Lord Ara Darzi to outline doctors' concerns that they were being excluded from the consultation process.
But the DoH spokesman said that 'every effort is made to circulate papers early and to reflect previous discussions'.
He also noted that regional reviews had been led by 2,000 clinicians, 'most of whom - we assume - are members of the BMA'.
Despite Dr Meldrum's concerns that polyclinics are being forced on PCTs, the DoH spokesman said that the mix of services 'will be determined locally by PCTs in partnership with local clinicians and patients'.
'This is about the local NHS making changes that suit people's needs,' he said.
Comment below and tell us what you think