David Cameron had been expected to reveal more about the listening exercise and potential new directions, at Ealing Hospital in west London.
But the speech was more a re-statement of the need for change in the NHS rather than an attempt to convince doubters that the Health Bill would provide the right solutions.
Mr Cameron repeatedly told the audience ‘I love the NHS’, and claimed that the reforms would be ‘evolution not revolution.’
He also tried to respond to the key concerns of opponents of the Bill: ‘Let me make clear: there will be no privatisation, there will be no cherry-picking from private providers, there will be no new upfront costs people have to pay to get care. Absolutely not. These are red lines we will not cross.
‘Instead, our NHS will be much like what we have today. The values and ethos of our NHS that you care so much about – and Andrew Lansley and I care so much about - they will still be there.’
Mr Cameron said the Future Forum leading the listening exercise would report back in early June and the government would respond later that month. He said it was already clear that nurses and hospital doctors needed to be more involved in commissioning.
He added that the reforms would bring ‘innovation and improvement - not breaking up efficient and integrated care.’