A foundation trust whose high mortality rates are under review has hired consultants to examine “the sustainability and quality” of its clinical services.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust has commissioned Ernst and Young to carry out the work, according to its board papers.

It was named earlier this month as one of 14 trusts to be reviewed by the NHS Commissioning Board for having higher than expected death rates for two successive years.

Ernst and Young has previously been appointed to review the long term financial and clinical sustainability of services at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, about which it is due to report to Monitor.

A Northern Lincolnshire board paper reveals that an initial scoping meeting has been held with consultants and that the trust has specifically asked for the team which has worked at Mid Staffordshire to carry out the work. The review is expected to start in coming weeks.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole has also asked Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Foundation Trust – which has a lower mortality rate – to carry out a peer review of its mortality action plan, and has commissioned an external review of its coding.

The action plan has been in place since last year and includes actions to improve quality, information and developing a safety culture.

Among other actions, a review of nursing staffing is under way, a deteriorating patients group has been set up and there is a weekly high level mortality meeting.

A trust report on mortality up to the end of January shows a small decline in its rate. It is still higher than the average of its peers, but there are signs it is reducing.

The trust’s director of clinical and quality assurance Wendy Booth said in a statement: “The trust has approached Ernst and Young to undertake a review of the sustainability and quality of the organisation’s clinical services.”

Ernst and Young’s interim report to Monitor on Mid Staffordshire, published last month, said it was not financially or clinically sustainable and there were no credible plans to ensure it became sustainable within five years.  It may lead to the trust being restructured or broken up.