The group said the polyclinics could help patients avoid being bounced from GP to hospital and back to GP.
And it hit out at suggestions from doctors that it would undermine continuity of care by pointing out patients could still be regularly seen by one GP at a polyclinic.
However, the report also warned ministers that there should be no central blueprint for what a polyclinic should look like as needs varied from area to area.
Nigel Edwards of the NHS confederation supports polyclinics
Nigel Edwards, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said there had been "knee-jerk" reaction to the proposals.
"While it may sound like the polyclinic system will not resemble the service currently provided by family doctors, in reality it should build on what is best in general practice."
But Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs committee, who has been a long-term critic of the policy, said the doctors' union saw the clinics as a way of getting the private sector more involved in the NHS.
"This commercialisation of patient care in the community is the very opposite of the personalised care which the government espouses and which family doctors already provide."
The Department of Health welcomed the intervention of NHS managers.
A spokesman said: "The new health centres will enhance a patient's ability to choose the service that best suits their needs."
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