Patients have branded Mayday Hospital the worst in London.

A damning survey of the experiences of people receiving treatment at the London Road hospital put it at the bottom of the heap in the capital.

Patients were asked a total of 50 questions about admissions, wards, doctors, nurses and treatment.

The scores given for 40 of those were among the bottom 20 per cent of responses for hospitals across the Greater London area.

No other trust had as many poor scores in so many fields.

The Healthcare Commission report found that doctors gave patients answers they could not understand and did not wash their hands in between seeing different patients as often as they should.

Patients also had the same concerns about nurses.

They also said they were given mixed messages about their treatment, that not enough information was given and that the overall level of care given was substandard.

The report will be a severe blow to Mayday, which has spent the past few years desperately trying to improve its reputation.

It is in the process of applying for foundation status, which would give it more control over its budgets but that application is likely to be delayed until at least April next year, even though the Trust's finances have been brought under control by chief executive Helen Whalley.

Ms Whalley admitted in a statement there were a number of areas where Mayday "could do better".

She added: "Mayday is a very busy hospital and many of our patients report to us on the excellent care they receive and the positive outcomes of their treatment.

"However, this is not always the case and this survey demonstrates a number of areas where we can do better.

"The survey relates to treatment in the summer of 2007. We have known about these issues for some time and I have been personally involved in a programme of quality improvement which is beginning to demonstrate positive change."

The trust said it drawn up new policies and charters to help tackle some of the problem areas and that it was carrying out a review of staff to get more people to the areas where they are needed most.

Ms Whalley added: "Our ongoing programme of quality improvements is addressing all of those issues which patients and staff have told us about.

"Progress is being made across all areas.

"However, I will not be satisfied until the experience of every patient is as good as the best.

"We know we can offer excellent services, and frequently do, but we have to make sure that we are consistent and that means getting it right all of the time."

Councillor Simon Hall, the council's shadow cabinet member for health, said: "It is absolutely essential that a huge amount of work is done by Mayday and the PCT to improve the hospital so it is providing the service that the people of Croydon need and deserve.

"Clearly, there needs to be a lot of work done by the PCT and the hospital to remedy the situation as a matter of urgency."

Councillor Margaret Mead, the council's health spokeswoman, refused to comment.

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