Procedures for patients undergoing surgery for hip fractures at Watford General Hospital have been bolstered after it emerged it had a high death rate for the operations.

Reports over the weekend highlight the 12 per cent mortality rate at the hospital, which contrasts with an average of two per cent at the best hospitals.

This week Dr Mike Van Der Watt, the trust’s medical director, said: "As a trust, we treat approximately 450 patients a year who have suffered a hip fracture.

"During 2012/13 we saw an increase in the mortality rate for these patients and, in July, we instigated a number of measures to address this rise.

"In addition, we have set up a dedicated committee of specialist doctors and nurses to regularly review the care provided to these patients and to track our mortality rate as we move forward.

"Initial findings show that our mortality rate for inpatients (who have suffered a hip fracture) has dropped in recent months. However, further analysis is needed."

Among the initiatives the hospital introduced were ensuring hip fracture patients are reviewed by a team of doctors and nurses before surgery; anaesthetised and operated on by senior clinicians; given appropriate time to recover after their operation before returning to their ward and seen by a specialist doctor in the days after their operation.