NHS England's new boss Simon Stevens has admitted standards in the organisation "have not been as they should have been".
Mr Stevens also said that in his view, patient's lives are saved when "people with courage speak up openly and honestly" about changes that are needed.
ITV's Political Correspondent Libby Wiener spoke to him in Newcastle:
An ITV News Index poll has found public confidence in the NHS is low. Just 28% said that the NHS is well managed, while 64% said improving patient care was the most important priority for the organisation.
When he was asked whether the Mid Staffs scandal was a stain on the NHS, Mr Stevens replied: "We know that standards have not been as they should have been, and where that is the case that has got to be tackled."
Earlier, ITV News spoke to James Titcombe, who lost his son Joshua at the Morecombe Bay Trust. Mr Titcombe's big concern was that there should be no more cover ups in the NHS.
When Mr Stevens was asked what he could say about people who have been so badly let down, he said that "patient's lives are saved when people with courage speak up openly and honestly about what they see and what needs to change".