The Department of Health insists ministers "can and do grip" the NHS system when they need to.
Conservative public health minister Jane Ellison was recorded at a private meeting saying the reforms had given away control of the NHS- a claim Labour used to accuse ministers of "washing their hands of responsibility" for the health service.
A Department of Heath spokesman said:
Giving operational control for the day-to-day running of services to doctors was the right decision - but we have always been clear that ministers are responsible for the NHS, and we are proud of its performance in challenging circumstances.
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A three-year-old boy has died after drowning at David Lloyd club on Tongue Lane in Leeds
The MP has become Welsh Labour's first deputy leader after the result was announced at the Welsh Labour conference in Llandudno.