The system for hospitals to report errors in the care of patients should be mandatory, a patients’ group says.
The Patients Association said that in the wake of the highly-critical report on Stafford Hospital, the time had come for the end to the voluntary system.
The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) reporting system depends on NHS trusts owning up to mistakes.
Regulators have already said the health service is not doing enough in reporting patient safety incidents.
The NPSA has been collecting data since 2003 in a bid to help the heath service learn from its mistakes.
In the first year, NHS trusts were only reporting just over 100 errors every three months, but that has now increased to 250,000.
However, despite the improvement the agency is still unable to compare trusts’ performance because of suspicions of under-reporting.
On top of that, 32 of the 391 NHS organisations in England and Wales did not submit any incidents or enough to be included in the latest data.
The situation prompted the Healthcare Commission to call for an improvement from NHS trusts earlier this month.