NHS hospitals have paid £583million in compensation to patients in the past three years after medics failed to diagnose what was wrong with them.
There were 4,097 payouts due to failure or a delay in a vital diagnosis.
The NHS said it carried out 33million diagnostic tests in the three years.
Peter Walsh, Chief Executive of the patient safety charity Action against Medical Accidents, said: “The causes of misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis are many and varied but it is clear that shortages of appropriate staff and also the need to update and make better use of technology to aid diagnosis would help enormously.
“Many GP practices do not make use of available software for example and many scanners need updating in hospitals.
“These are some of the reasons why the UK lags behind many other developed countries in diagnosisng and treating cancer successfully for instance. Major investment in staff and technology is needed”
An NHS spokesperson said: “The NHS performed 33 million diagnostic tests over the last three years, including six million urgent cancer tests, meaning incidents like these are thankfully extremely rare.”