Health minister Ann Keen has called for frontline staff to ensure patient safety is a top priority in the NHS.
Speaking at the Patient Safety Congress 2008, she said staff needed to go to work knowing they could report any problems to managers without fear of reprisal.
They also needed to push through the hierarchy and get patient safety on the agenda in the boardrooms, she said.
Ms Keen welcomed moves to create a "patient safety direct" gateway to allow staff to report issues, saying the aim was to ensure people could be open and honest about mistakes so lessons could be learned.
To read about Gordon Brown's speech at the congress, click here
More on patient safety from HSJ