Andrew Lansley has said that the government's Health Bill may need to go back to the House of Commons for further review following the "listening exercise" on National Health Service reforms.
The health secretary was taking part in a webchat with readers of The Guardian when he answered a question about "recommitting" the bill to MPs. He wrote that "we won't decide that until we have received the NHS Future Forum report and have responded to that".
Mr Lansley went on to say that "I told the House of Commons on April 4 that we would ensure proper scrutiny of the bill – we have done that so far and we will continue to do so". It has already passed through the committee stage of the House but the government launched the aforementioned "listening exercise" last month to gauge the feelings of healthcare professionals and public alike. and the public.
In terms of commissioning, he said that although GPs were a good starting point, they will need help. "When it comes to designing specific services, they will need to work with others who have the right expertise, like specialist nurses and hospital doctors".
Mr Lansley also rejected a suggestion that the bill was about privatisation and said it would "not allow any new charges". He acknowledged there had been "failures" and that there was "misinformation and misunderstanding" surrounding the proposals.