An NHS trust has been issued with three formal warnings after inspectors found "unsafe" conditions including filthy maternity wards and water placed out of the reach of elderly patients.
Barts Health NHS Trust has "failed to protect the safety and welfare of patients" at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said.
The trust must now make "urgent improvements", following unannounced inspections in May and June.
The hospital was failing to meet 10 of the 16 national standards for quality and safety, inspectors found.
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.
Resuscitation equipment for babies did not have an oxygen supply and was not checked regularly, while some equipment was not sterile, inspectors found.
"We saw examples of poor care, unacceptable staff behaviour and poor infection control in maternity services," inspectors said in their report. "In surgery, theatre processes and communication arrangements put people's safety at risk.
"Surgery and maternity were both too busy, did not have enough staff to look after people's needs and lacked bed capacity. The management at Whipps Cross are not adequately managing risks in either maternity or surgery."
Barts Health NHS Trust issued a statement apologising to patients. Chief executive Peter Morris said: "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."
It said several programmes are running to improve training and care standards.