As (hopefully) readers all know, SHAs and PCTs retain their statutory functions until April 2013, as there will be no formal transfer of statutory functions, accountability, budgets or employment of staff before then.
However it has been announced that PCT and SHA leaders will be stripped of their operational responsibility for NHS delivery and planning with arrangements to be put in place from 1 October 2012 - ie more than six months in advance of their abolition!
So what precisely does this mean? Whilst SHAs and PCTs retain their statutory accountability they will be stripped of management control. We are told that this step has been taken to 'ensure stability and resilience'.
New bodies should therefore be cognisant to the fact that although they hold no formal powers and functions they may nonetheless be 'accountable for responsibilities consistent with their preparatory powers and planning for 2013/14'.
David Nicholson NHS Chief Executive has written to NHS leaders to set out this next stage in the transition to the new health and care system in two letters one to SHA and PCT chairs and one to senior leaders in the wider NHS which can be viewed here.