Health secretary Andrew Lansley optimistically outlined in the White Paper that the health Bill would be put before Parliament in autumn this year.
But a DoH spokeswoman has confirmed that the health Bill will now be introduced in the new year. She added that this would not affect the timetable for implementation of the changes.
The spokeswoman also said that the DoH’s response to the White Paper consultation, which is due in December, will set out ‘substantial further detail’ about the provisions to be included in the health Bill.
‘The DoH received over 6,000 responses to the White Paper consultations and we have been giving them careful consideration,' she said.
DoH policy adviser Rob Dickman wrote on Twitter: ‘It's a huge Bill - it was always touch and go to get it introduced before Christmas.’