One in seven hospital trusts in the UK are witnessing higher death rates than expected, according to a leading expert.

Professor Sir Brian Jarman, a former member of an enquiry into the deaths of heart patients at Bristol hospital, said that 25 hospital trusts in England had high death rates and should be investigated by the government, according to the telegraph.

Each of these trusts had at least 150 more deaths than expected in 2007–08 and across the 25 trusts there were 4,600 unexpected deaths in total.

The trusts included Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

“The regulator uses a method I think is fundamentally flawed, which is that only 20% of hospitals are inspected every year,” Jarman said.

The Department of Health said that it was already taking tough action against underperforming hospitals.

The Care Quality Commission released details of the latest trusts to be registered under new regulation rules and ten of the 214 trusts were only allowed to be registered under conditions.