A tenth of NHS hospitals do not meet basic respect and dignity standards, a report into the country's care system has found.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which drew its findings from 13,000 inspections, said there was also a lack of respectful care at 15% of 2,500 nursing homes.
The State of Care report found that some care providers are struggling to give 'person-centred' care and there is a risk of 'poor or unsafe' care for some vulnerable patients.
Funding pressures are taking their toll, with a shortage of staff at 16% of 250 hospitals.
Patients were also not being provided with the food they needed at a substantial number of providers - a fifth of 1,362 nursing homes and 15% of 258 NHS hospitals were not helping patients access the food and drink they required.
Better funding for care is urgently needed
Age UK said urgent funding reform is needed on social care to ensure that older people with disability, fragility or chronic ill health have confidence that they will receive the care they need.
Charity director Michelle Mitchell said the report was a 'serious indictment' of how the country cares for its older people.
She said it was 'appalling' that hospitals and care homes were neglecting the dignity of patients and failing to provide the food and drink they need.
'Staff across health and care services have a professional and moral duty to make sure the dignity of their patients and residents is enshrined in every action. This means involving people in decisions about their care, providing care that treats people with respect and helping people to be as independent as possible,' Ms Mitchell said.
She called for 'fair access to high quality health and social care services', adding that the Government must provide sufficient funding to resource the sector.
Social care funding had been 'stripped to the bone' over the last eight years, and the consequences of this underfunding was being seen in reports such as the CQC's report, Ms Mitchell said.
Copyright Press Association 2012