The NHS should be the "safest in the world", Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said as a major review aimed at introducing a "zero-harm culture" in hospitals was set to be published.
The minister said a review by Professor Don Berwick, a world expert in patient safety, would stress that it must always be clear "where the buck stops" in the health service.
"We have got a million more people going through A&E than three years ago and no-one is denying that NHS staff are working extremely hard," Mr Hunt told ITV's Daybreak.
"But that doesn't mean that we can't make the NHS the safest in the world and I think one of the things that is really important when you hear bad stories is also to remember that there are a lot of things that we can be very proud of in the NHS."
Professor Berwick was tasked by Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year with the root-and-branch safety review of English hospitals.
The report comes after the Francis Inquiry into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, where between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would normally have been expected.
A former adviser to US President Barack Obama, Prof Berwick has said he believes the NHS could offer the safest healthcare in the world. The review, involving a team of experts from the UK and US, has examined why some patients needlessly suffer or die in hospital because of errors.
One basic element of creating a zero-harm culture includes using checklists before surgery and asking patients to give their name before any treatment is given.
Prof Berwick founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, which conducted an earlier internal review for the NHS. Released under a Freedom of Information request in 2010, it found a "shame and blame" culture in the NHS which was preventing care from improving.
In March, Prof Berwick said he would recommend how the NHS could take "serious and profound" action to improve safety.