The government has confirmed its plan not to pay hospitals if patients are harmed or killed as a result of blunders.

A core list of eight “never events” was issued in 2009 and included operating on the wrong part of the body and leaving a surgical instrument or swab inside a patient.

In October, the government proposed extending the list to 22, but today said it will now cover 25 incident types.

They include the wrong route of administration of chemotherapy, death or injury resulting from the transfusion of the wrong blood type, and death by falls from unrestricted windows in hospitals.

The wrong implant, a wrongly prepared high-risk injectable drug and maladministration of insulin are included too.

Getting trapped in bed rails, severe scalding and wrongly identifying patients for procedures, resulting in serious harm, also feature.

The NHS has a statutory requirement to report all serious patient safety incidents to regulatory bodies, and Hospitals can have funding for patients withheld if a never event occurs.

Medical errors of all kinds are thought to cost the NHS around £2bn a year.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Our ambition is to modernise the NHS so that people have the highest quality healthcare and live healthier, independent lives.

“Improving patient safety is central to this. We have identified 25 preventable incidents - never events - which should never happen in a high-quality healthcare service and for which payment can be withheld across the NHS.”

He said the incidents “will be enshrined in the NHS Standard Contract, meaning that payment from GPs or other commissioners will be withheld where care falls short of the acceptable standard”.

He added: “The measures will help to protect patients and give commissioners the power to take action if unacceptable mistakes do happen.”

NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “No-one wants these to happen, therefore we should not have to pay hospitals when these events occur.

“This will send a strong signal to leaders of the organisation to learn from their mistakes so they don’t happen again.”

Last year, 111 never events occurred in NHS organisations.