The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found a shortage of senior staff working during the early hours of the morning, particularly in A&E, and “insufficient staff numbers” which led to delays in prioritising patient’s injuries and illnesses.

Inspectors expressed concerns about the Trust’s ability to deliver “safe and effective care that fully met patient's needs.”

Janet Allan, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The CQC identification of serious shortcomings at the Bradford Royal Infirmary reflects a worrying trend in the NHS.

“When patients visit their local hospitals they should rightly expect a certain standard of care. This inspection result could be repeated across England as Trusts struggle with government cuts in real terms.

“The government should take Bradford as a warning and look properly at funding and workloads. The answer isn’t back door privatisation. Sadly this is not an isolated incident.

“An overstretched NHS is struggling to provide its users with safe and effective care and demanding too much of its staff. Sadly the consequence is more cases for lawyers in clinical negligence claims.

“The answer isn’t for the government to put out more ‘The NHS is failing’ stories and use that as cover to put more of the NHS into the hands of private healthcare providers whose ultimate interest is profit – we have seen the disaster that is in Home Care and the Prisons – the answer is for a genuine commitment to a properly funded NHS.”