More than half of hospital trusts inspected last year provided the public with incorrect information on their performance and quality of care, it has been claimed.

Documents obtained by the BBC’s Panorama programme show that of the hospital trusts inspected in 2008-09, just over 60 per cent provided inaccurate information to the Care Quality Commission, a spokesman for the programme said.

The CQC uses this information, on criteria such as patient safety, care environment and public health, to rate trusts.

However, the fact that some hospital trusts have been wrongly assessing their own performance casts doubt on the accuracy of some of these ratings, the spokesman said.

Health minister Mike O’Brien told the programme hospital trusts needed to be more open, but insisted that increased checks being brought in April would help tackle the problem.

The current system of regulation is based on self assessment, with trusts assessing themselves against a range of standards.

The CQC’s inspectors also carry out a combination of targeted and random inspections.

Of the 28 hospital trusts they visited in 2008-09, they found just over 60 per cent (17) had assessed themselves wrongly when they checked four of the 44 core standards that trusts assess themselves against.

Nine of the trusts had wrongly assessed on one of the four standards inspected, six had wrongly assessed on two, and two had provided incorrect information on three, the spokesman said.

Panorama’s Trust Us - We’re an NHS Hospital will be aired on BBC1 on Monday at 8.30pm.