A hospital trust has been issued with three warnings after inspectors found filthy maternity wards, bloodstained rooms and unusable rescuscitation equipment.
The shocking conditions were uncovered at Whipps Cross University Hospital in east London during unannounced inspections by the Care Quality Commission.
Inspectors from the safety regulator found bloodstained equipment, dirty curtains, staff not cleaning their hands and midwives failing to carry out proper checks on babies.
Resuscitation equipment for newborns did not have an oxygen supply and was not checked regularly, while some equipment was not sterile.
Water and food was left out of reach of elderly patients, feeding tubes went unchecked and some patients developed bed sores while in hospital.
The CQC has now issued three warnings to Barts Health Trust, saying the hospital was failing to meet 10 of the 16 national standards for quality and safety required by law.
The trust has been told to make ‘urgent improvements’. It is already under scrutiny after being declared at ‘high risk’ of failing patients, with 28 deaths linked to medical blunders at its six London hospitals last year.
Concerns about delays in cancer care and hundreds of emergency cases readmitted for further treatment last month led England’s new Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, to order an inquiry on his first day in the job.
The latest CQC report says the trust ‘failed to protect the safety and welfare of patients’.
Matthew Trainer, regional director of the CQC in London, said: ‘We have very serious concerns about the care and treatment patients have been receiving at Whipps Cross.
‘The reports we have published today show a systematic catalogue of failings across the departments we looked at.
In places, the hospital was unsafe and dirty, and staff didn’t always show patients the compassion that people deserve.’