PERFORMANCE: Minutes showed the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio for August was 125.3 at West Middlesex University Hospital Trust, meaning the rate was roughly 26 per cent higher than would be expected.

The document showed there was “robust discussion” of the increase at the finance and performance meeting. But while “the committee recognised that there were some issues with the validity of the data, there has been a fundamental change in the HSMR performance and the trust needs to understand why”.

An alert was sent to the trust by the strategic health authority, the minutes revealed.

The report said: “The committee believed [the figure] to be inaccurate due to failure to identify all palliative care patients on the system and coding of deaths, which is being examined.

“The revised codes have been supplied to Dr Foster, and a reduction in the HSMR is anticipated. The September figure is above target at 101 and revision of some codes for palliative care patients is expected to bring the HSMR down further.”