Mr Blair told MPs during prime minister's questions he did not intend 'to replace [health councils] with nothing'. He agreed to a compromise amendment put forward by Labour's David Hinchliffe, chair of the Commons health select committee, to replace them with patients' councils.
The scrapping of health councils was one of the most contentious parts of the Health and Social Care Bill being pushed through Parliament.
The patients' councils will be umbrella bodies, covering a wide area and bringing together representatives from a number of individual patients' forums as well as councils.
The Local Government Association welcomed Mr Blair's decision. It said the councils 'will provide a more comprehensive view of local health services and ensure greater links between the various local patient advocacy and representation bodies'.