There were fears Andrew Lansley had opened the door to NHS privatisation today, after the health secretary raised the cap on hospitals' private income.
Lansley lifted the limit on income hospitals can derive from private patients, drugs sales or intellectual property to 49%.
Lansley will announce the cap will be raised from October 1st, because it "prevents foundation trusts from pursuing the kind of innovations that will benefit patients in the future and put more of our hospitals on the map internationally".
Supporters of the move argue it will significantly raise income revenue to the NHS.
Critics say it will inevitably lead to NHS patients being put to the back of the queue while private patients seeking simple operations are prioritised.