The principles at the centre of the proposed NHS reforms are not the cause of continued controversy and opposition.
Junior health minister Earl Howe said it was instead the “detail of the implementation” of the reforms that had caused concern.
At Lords’ question time, Lord Howe faced a barrage of concerns over the reforms from Labour peers.
Lord Kennedy of Southwark asked: “Do you not understand the very real issue of low morale in the NHS that these proposals are causing and the concern and worry for patients?”
Lord Howe replied: “I do accept that a number of aspects of the government’s proposals have caused concern in many quarters and that is why we have chosen to pause and listen and reflect on those concerns.
“As I said, we will be bringing forward proposals very shortly to improve the bill and I hope that those proposals will meet with widespread acceptance.
“I think it’s fair to say that the main principles which the government have laid out have not been the subject of controversy but it is the detail of the implementation that we’re looking at most closely.”
He said the reforms would “reinforce the NHS as an integrated system, joining up working between the NHS, public health and social care locally”.
Labour spokeswoman Baroness Thornton warned that the plans would result in “chaos”.
She asked: “How will the government ensure patient safety in what I hope the minister might recognise is possibly impending chaos with the de facto implementation of key parts of the Bill, the dismantling of the SHAs and PCTs, the patchwork approach of new organisations, and the leaching away of experienced staff?”
Lord Howe said: “We’re putting patient safety at the very centre of the NHS by moving it to the NHS Commissioning Board. In that way patient safety will be embedded into the health service through GP commissioning and their contracts with providers.”