David Cameron has defended the chief executive of the NHS amid renewed calls for his resignation over the Stafford Hospital scandal.
The Prime Minister insisted Sir David Nicholson had "frankly and candidly" apologised for failings that contributed to the deaths of hundreds of patients.
Mr Cameron suggested that Labour ministers should also be saying sorry.
Answering questions in the Commons, he said: "David Nicholson has made his apology and wants to get on with his job of running an excellent NHS, and other people frankly should be thinking of their position too."
Amid growing cross-party pressure for Sir David to go, Labour backbencher Graham Stringer asked the premier: "How can the public have any confidence in the administration of the NHS when this man remains? Will the Prime Minister not sack him immediately?"
Mr Cameron replied: "He has very frankly and very candidly apologised and acknowledged the mistakes that were made. Everyone has to think of their responsibilities with regard to the dreadful events that happened at the Staffordshire hospital. Including the fact that part of the problem was people following a very top-down, target-led agenda which led to patient care being put on the back burner."
Giving evidence to the Commons Health Select Committee yesterday, Sir David conceded he had been part of the culture that caused problems at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
He was in charge of the regional health authority for 10 months between 2005 and 2006 - the height of the failings in care at the trust. However, he again insisted he would stay on and lead the health service through crucial reforms.
"During that period, across the NHS as a whole, patients were not the centre of the way the system operated," Sir David said.
"For a whole variety of reasons, not because people were bad but because there were a whole set of changes going on and a whole set of things we were being held accountable for from the centre, which created an environment where the leadership of the NHS lost its focus. I put my hands up to that and I was a part of that, but my learning from that was to make sure it doesn't happen again."