NHS managers in failing hospitals will be put on a blacklist to ensure they can never work in the health service again - to prevent a repeat of the Stafford Hospital scandal.

But Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he could not confirm that the penalty would be applied to any of the staff who worked at Stafford Hospital when up to 1,200 patients may have died needlessly.

And he also once again ruled out sacking Sir David Nicholson, the Chief Executive of the National Health Service who was formerly Chief Executive of the Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority.

Mr Hunt was responding to the Francis report into the serious failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which highlighted “appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people” at Stafford Hospital between 2005 and 2009.

He announced plans to introduce a “national barring list” for managers who let their patients and the NHS down.

And he said that a new Chief Inspector of Hospitals would be able to name and shame poorly performing trusts.

If trusts do not deliver good care to patients they could be put into a “failure regime” and may ultimately be put into administration.

Hospitals would also be subject to Ofsted-style ratings and face a legal “duty of candour” aimed at stopping medical staff hiding mistakes.