Failings regarding patient safety must be admitted by the NHS as a result of new rules to toughen transparency announced by the government.
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter revealed that from April 2013, the NHS Commissioning Board is set to be required to include a contractual duty of openness in all commissioning contracts.
NHS organisations such as hospitals will therefore be required to tell patients if their safety has been compromised, with this being enforced in a bid to ensure that lessons are learned to prevent them from being repeated in the future.
"Patients place great faith in the NHS organisations that treat them and they in turn have a duty to be honest and open about every aspect of care they deliver," said Dr Poulter.
He added patients deserve to be informed when a mistake has been made by the NHS.
A recent report by the Patients Association claimed that poor standards of care in the UK remain "unchallenged" and "unchanged".
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