Senior civil servants are understood to have told GP leaders that only 20 per cent of how GP consortia will work will be defined centrally.
But plans for a bank of guidance could offer consortia off-the-shelf solutions to shaping how they work.
DoH national clinical director for PBC Dr James Kingsland said the resource could be usable by next April to allow consortia in shadow form to start making service changes.
Dr Kingsland said GPs should be thinking about how to improve clinical services now rather than waiting for the structure and organisation of consortia to be worked out.
An accurate formula to set consortia budgets may not be ready until 2013, he said last week, but clinical reform could still be planned (GP, 17 September).
'We should be doing all this sort of stuff now, looking at clinical services and how they change, not the organisational stuff around it,' he said.
'We'll try to describe some of the thinking you'll need to do. We'll develop packs and products for commissioners to use.'
The NHS had not been good at compiling best practice information from successful PBC groups in the past, said Dr Kingsland.
He aims to expand on the existing online resource PBC Connections by collecting data on the latest commissioning work in a variety of fields.
'There is a huge range of work being done in programmes in areas like diabetes and cancer that may be well known in the DoH but not elsewhere. That needs to be passed on to GPs, so they're not starting with a blank canvas,' Dr Kingsland said.
GPs in areas where PBC has failed to take off will be asked for their thoughts on why leadership had not evolved or was stifled, said Dr Kingsland.