Figures released by the NHS Information Centre show overall exception rate rose to 5.41% in 2009/10, up from an all-time low of 4.87% in the previous year.
The NHS Information Centre said the rise was due in part to new clinical indicators.
Exception reporting had been falling since 2006/07, when it reached 5.83%. In successive years rates fell to 5.26% in 2007/08 and 4.87% in 2008/09.
Rates varied across indicators from 0.05% to 61.54%. Eight of 16 indicators had increased exception reporting in 2009/10 compared to the previous year.
Four of these – in COPD, depression, diabetes and heart failure domains – had new or revised indicators in 2009/10.