A hospital investigated for high death rates has been criticised for its poor patient care by two independent reviews.

The Guardian newspaper reported that it has seen two previously unpublished reviews commissioned into standards at Tameside General Hospital in Greater Manchester criticising patient safety standards in A&E and poor medical assessment. The reports are said to have found issues including a shortage of available beds in accident and emergency and concerns over staff shortages. One report, commissioned by Tameside Hospital, found up to eight A&E patients at a time were waiting in a corridor, with one left for seven hours. It said weak leadership had affected ‘patient outcomes’. Two senior hospital bosses have since resigned.

Tameside is one of 14 hospitals under scrutiny for its high death rates. The hospital said the reviews were commissioned because of staff concerns and it had responded with an action plan.

A Department of Health spokesman said it considered any concerns about care failings seriously and always took action, including passing them to regulators for examination.

He commented: "The government ordered a review into standards at Tameside in February and we expect the report will be published shortly. In addition, standards at Tameside are also being examined by CQC."

Guy Forster, a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence claims, said: “These latest reports of issues at Tameside General Hospital are clearly disturbing. The public needs to have confidence that A&E departments are sufficiently staffed and equipped to deal with the pressures placed on them and that patient safety is not compromised. These fresh concerns should be investigated immediately and addressed as a matter of urgency.”