The Government has delayed the publication of its health bill until early next year, meaning GPs will have to wait until January at the earliest to see Andrew Lansley's radical commissioning plans come before Parliament.
The bill was originally due to be published in October, with Mr Lansley having remained until recently publicly bullish about unveiling his radical blueprint for NHS reform before Christmas.
But the Department of Health confirmed to Practical Commissioning's sister paper Pulse yesterday that the bill has been put back until the New Year, amid speculation that the Government is grappling with both technical details and political discontent from within its own ranks.
A Department of Health spokesperson said: 'The Department of Health received over 6,000 responses to the White Paper consultations and we have been giving them careful consideration. The Department's response will be published in December and will contain substantial further detail about the provisions to be included in the Health and Social Care Bill. The Bill itself will now follow in the new year. This will not affect the implementation timescale.'Health secretary Andrew Lansley's bill will now go before parliament in January health secretary - Andrew Lansley