Healthcare inspectors have raised serious concerns about the way a Worcestershire hospital treats elderly people.
Three health trusts in England have broken the law when it comes to providing older people with essential standards of care on dignity and nutrition - a quarter of those reviewed.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published the first 12 reports from an England-wide inspection programme into standards of care at 100 hospitals. Only half of hospitals were providing essential standards of care as set down in the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
At Redditch's Alexandra Hospital, part of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, inspectors expressed "major" concerns about nutrition.
They found "meals served and taken to the bedside of people who were asleep or not sitting in the right position to enable them to eat their meal".
Hot dinners and puddings were left for 15 minutes to go cold before staff found time to assist patients. While guidelines stated people should be offered a choice of food, one person's meal was taken away because they did not want it and no replacement was offered.
Staff said they sometimes had to prescribe drinking water on medication charts to "ensure people get regular drinks".
One elderly patient was noted as malnourished on admission but they were not reassessed until 16 days later. Patients were also not weighed when they should have been.
The inspectors concluded that patients were "at risk of poor nutrition and dehydration".
Inspectors also highlighted failings at Ipswich Hospital NHS and the Royal Free Hospital in London. Six trusts met all essential standards: Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.