An NHS hospital is being threatened with legal action as 23 families come forward with claims of severe neglect.
Legal firm Leigh Day & Co, which previously won the largest-ever group claim against Stafford hospital, are planning action against Alexandra Hospital, part of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust.
Lawyers say that the 23 families, who have contacted them so far about care at Alexandra Hospital, may represent only "the tip of the iceberg".
Cases include a retired NHS worker who died after being left without food or heart medication, a man who fell into a coma after contracting E.coli from a filthy catheter, and vulnerable patients who were left to starve when trays were placed out of reach.
Official statistics have already shown that death rates at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust were ten per cent higher than the national average in 2010/11, meaning there were 239 more deaths than expected.
And in October the Care Quality Commission found major concerns at Alexandra Hospital, where so many patients on its ward were left at risk of dehydration that doctors were forced to prescribe water for them.
Lawyers will now say that the treatment of many patients was so degrading that it constituted an abuse of the Human Rights Act.
Miss Jones said: "The common themes we have encountered include patients being left dehydrated and starved - feeding tubes not given to patients who could not swallow normally, food being plonked out of reach of patients, and others left to eat with their fingers because they weren't given cutlery.”
Not far from Alexandra Hospital lies BMI The Droitwich Spa Hospital, a private hospital with 36 ensuite beds. BMI The Droitwich Hospital has three theatres, an endoscopy suite and a high dependency unit, and scored over 90 per cent last year for patient satisfaction.
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