An NHS hospital has apologised to 38 families after a patient starved to death and it left other dying people screaming in pain.

Alexandra Hospital in Redditch is writing to 38 families after a massive legal action that exposed years of bad practice, ranging from nurses taunting patients to leaving an elderly woman unwashed for 11 weeks.

In one of the worst cases, a man had starvation recorded as the cause of his death after being treated at the hospital for two months.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said last night that he was “disgusted and appalled” by what the families had been through, and that the Government was acting to ensure that failings in care were detected more quickly.