Seventeen NHS hospitals have dangerously low staffing levels, according to rulings by the official safety watchdog, it has been revealed.
The hospitals, many of them busy district generals, were issued with warnings by the Care Quality Commission after its latest inspections, the body has disclosed.
Each was told it did not have enough staff “to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs” — the standard every part of the health service must meet.
The English hospitals were named at a time of growing concern over the safety and dignity of NHS patients, with the report into the Stafford Hospital scandal due to be published in the next few weeks.
Last night Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said there was “no excuse” for hospitals not to provide adequate staff and he expected “swift action” to be taken by those named as failing.
Labour, which obtained the list, accused David Cameron of imposing a “toxic medicine of spending cuts and reorganisation” on the NHS