Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has apologised for failing to communicate his plans for the health service after being given an unprecedented vote of no confidence by nurses.
At the Royal College of Nursing conference, Mr Lansley said he accepted the "rebuke" and said "sorry" to NHS staff.
He has come under fire at the Liverpool conference for declining to deliver a speech to all delegates.
Instead, he met 65 nurses as part of the Government's "listening exercise" on its controversial plans for the NHS.
Nurses voted 99% in favour of a motion of no confidence in his management of the reforms, to 1% against.
Mr Lansley said: "I did read what was said... and the result.
"I'm sorry if what I'm setting out to do hasn't communicated itself."
He said he believed there is a "shared objective" in ensuring an NHS free at the point of use and a comprehensive, high-quality service.
"My view is that we are all working together, through the legislation, in order to support those principles, and if we haven't got that right we will make sure that we do, with your help."
Mr Lansley told nurses he wants them, along with doctors and other health professionals, to have a central role in decision-making.