The short-changing of Hounslow's NHS chiefs by around £5million every year is the cause of recent failings at West Middlesex Hospital, it was claimed this week.
Town hall chiefs regularly complain that Hounslow's population is underestimated by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), meaning the borough is missing out on vital funds.
But Cllr Jon Hardy, chair of Hounslow Council's adults, health and social care scrutiny panel, believes the problem also extends to local health services.
And he claims that if the problem persists, the West Middlesex Hospital's recent winter beds crisis is a sign of worst things to come.
"The Primary Care Trust and West Mid have been running on a shoe string budget, getting into a great deal of financial stress and if they were being fairly funded as other boroughs are, then possible problems like they had in January would not be happening," he said.
"They are having to run very fast to stay on the same spot, then when you put strain on top of that, like they had over the winter months, then they are pushed into a deficit.
"If things like the vomiting bug Norovirus crop up again next winter then the consequences could be much more severe. Thankfully no one died this time but who is to say they won't next time if nothing is done about it."
The ONS claim Hounslow has a population of 212,000 people, whereas the Greater London Authority puts the figure at nearer 217,000.
The difference which translates into around £5m of funding from the Strategic Health Authority every year.
Cllr Hardy believes this problem stems from the fact there are many people joining their families here from abroad who are never properly accounted for, while West Mid caters for a large amount of Richmond residents who are not included in Hounslow's funding.
The Chronicle reported recently how the hospital's chief executive Tara Donnelly resigned after eight patients were left waiting in A&E for more than 12 hours during one chaotic day in January.
A spokesman for NHS Hounslow said: "For NHS Hounslow like most PCTs there is a difference in the number of local people resident in the area and the number of people registered with a GP in that area - there are more patients registered with our GPs than our estimated resident population.
"Overall, we believe we buy services for more patients than we are paid for nationally which has an impact on the money we have available to pay for healthcare services and this has contributed to the PCTÕs financial challenges."
"The onus is on the healthcare provider, such as West Middlesex University Hospital, to deliver services within the price limit in line with the rest of other NHS providers.
"It is an issue of the efficiency of healthcare providers and their ability to manage their costs to deliver services. The population and funding issues has impacted on the money NHS Hounslow has available to pay for healthcare services - from a range of providers including West Middlesex Hospital - and this has contributed to the PCT's financial challenges."