St George’s Healthcare Trust in London was found in breach of six national quality standards after an unannounced Care Quality Commission inspection in January.
The regulator found problems in several departments at the south west London provider, including accident and emergency and maternity.
The inspectors’ report, published last week, said: “Some patients on an older people’s ward couldn’t reach drinks left on trays by their beds.”
The CQC also found problems related to patient confidentiality and to the use of equipment to prevent pressure sores in A&E.
The report said “some parts” of the £636m-turnover hospital were “not as clean as they should have been”. It said: “Inspectors saw visible dust in several wards. Some clinical areas were dirty and did not appear to have been properly cleaned between patients.”
It added: “In one ward, the doors to isolation rooms used by patients with infectious diseases were left open.”
The regulator found three standards were not being met with a moderate impact, and three with a minor impact.
CQC deputy director for London Matthew Trainer said: “Most of the people we spoke to told our inspectors that they were happy with the care they received and praised staff for their efforts, but this was not universal.
“Some of the issues our inspectors witnessed were fundamental to good care – people should be able to have a private conversation about their condition or use a commode without being seen by other people. If a patient is calling out, someone should attend to them.”
The trust’s performance in the 2012 CQC inpatient survey, in response to the question of whether patients were treated with “dignity and respect whilst in hospital”, was close to the national average.
It also performed close to the average for its patients’ response to questions about privacy during examinations and treatment.
A spokesman for the trust said the CQC inspection had found “a very high standard of care in most cases”. The spokesman added: “nonetheless, the inspectors also observed instances where the care provided or the environment for patients fell short of expectations. Since the visit staff at St George’s have been working hard to address these issues.”