More than half of London's A&E departments keep patients waiting too long for treatment.
High death rates, poor safety levels, dissatisfied patients, disillusioned staff are just some of the problems identified.
Jeremy Hunt plans to send in the shock troops to try and use the best hospitals to turn around those that are under performing.
Whipps Cross University Hospital has been accused of failing to protect the safety and welfare of patients.
An inspection by the Care Quality Commission found "serious shortfalls" at the hospital - including filthy maternity wards and uncaring staff.
Ria Chatterjee has sent us this report from Leytonstone, after speaking with the CQC's Matthew Trainer.
Just i/v'd mother who's had 4 babies at Whipps Cross. First one 20yrs ago: good exp. Last baby less than a year ago: awful experience.
She described it as a "cattle market" with no one-on-one attention. After having C-section she was put into a utility type room with
taped up windows, little space, bedding everywhere. No advice from staff. Left alone with the baby.
A report into the care provided by Whipps Cross University Hospital is very critical of care provided to women on maternity and post natal units.
It said that staff did not follow some basic hygiene regimes such as washing their hands, and that babies ended up in intensive care because midwives didn't carry out basic checks.
– CQC inspectors who visited Whipps Cross University Hospital
We saw a woman in a blood-stained gown and bed. About 10 minutes later we saw the same woman crying in the corridor. The midwife on duty asked the woman 'Why are you crying?' The woman replied 'I am in pain'.
'Pain!' the midwife repeated in a sarcastic manner. The midwife got some medication and handed her a white pot which contained tablets without telling the woman what the tablets were.
We observed the same midwife bringing the wrong formula milk to the mother. When asked by the woman, the midwife did not accept she had brought the wrong milk and refused to offer the correct alternative.
– Barts Health NHS Trust chief executive Peter Morris
Barts Health is committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of every one of our patients and we are extremely sorry for the failings in some of our services at Whipps Cross Hospital.
We have taken immediate action to rectify the failures to ensure we meet standards across the hospital at all times.
Barts NHS trust has been issued with three formal warnings in a Care Quality Commission report which found it had "failed to protect the safety and welfare of patients" at Whipps Cross University Hospital. The unnannounced inspections were carried out in May and June.
– Matthew Trainer, regional director of the Care Quality Commission in London
We have very serious concerns about the care and treatment patients have been receiving at Whipps Cross University Hospital.
The reports we have published today show a systematic catalogue of failings across the departments we looked at during our inspections in May and June.
We found that, in places, the hospital was unsafe and dirty, and that staff didn't always show patients the compassion that people deserve.
Whipps Cross University Hospital in east London has been issued with three formal warning after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found:
- The hospital was failing to meet 10 of the 16 national standards for quality and safety.
- On maternity wards, "serious shortfalls" were noted, such as blood-stained equipment, filthy curtains, staff not cleaning their hands and midwives failing to carry out proper checks on newborns.
- During just one visit, "serious shortfalls" in eight out of the 16 essential standards hospitals are required to meet by law were identified.
- There were also problems in A&E. The national NHS target is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours but the hospital has not met this target since last November.
Campaigners trying to reverse cuts to A&E services in west London suffered a major setback today after Ealing Council's request for a judicial review was turned down.
Ealing Council has already vowed to fight the decision - and the Leader of the Council Julian Bell said he was very surprised that it was refused, but that chances of a successful appeal are good.
A health trust is to be investigated for repeatedly breaching the A&E waiting times target.
The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has missed the target - which says at least 95% of patients should be seen within four hours - three times in a 21-month period, the regulator Monitor said.
The trust provides services to patients at hospitals in Reading, Windsor and Henley. Monitor will investigate whether the failure points to wider problems at the trust.
What do you make of your local hospital? Can you rate it like a hotel?
Well today the government published the first patient ratings of wards and A&E departments in England.
The only casualty unit which got a minus score was Chase Farm Hospital in Barnet, which is set to close. Our Political Correspondent Simon Harris has the full story.