THE health regulator has stepped in to ensure a hospital trust draws up a recovery plan to deal with a 'systematic catalogue of failings' in its care.

Monitor has taken action after the damning Care Quality Commission (CQC) report at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, which was deemed as 'failing to protect the welfare of patients'.

The trust has given Monitor binding undertakings to put right the concerns raised within three months.

It has also agreed to review how it oversees clinical quality, strengthen ward management and ensure it has enough beds and staff to meet future demand for emergency and elective care.

Mark Turner, regional director at Monitor, said: "We want Heatherwood and Wexham Park to fix its problems quickly and effectively, so that patients can receive the quality care they deserve.

"We recognise that the trust has been under pressure because of unprecedented demand this winter, but it must now put together a credible recovery plan to put right weaknesses in care, governance and staff management.

"We've taken this action to promote and protect patient's interests and, will consider further action if these problems are not fixed satisfactorily".

Monitor issued an enforcement notice in April 2013 demanding urgent improvements in finance and governance and will now increase its scrutiny to ensure the recovery plan is implemented.

The CQC issued the trust with an urgent improvement notice. The report found failings in protecting patients' privacy and dignity, care and welfare and cleanliness standards.

Chief executive Philippa Slinger has apologised to patients and vowed to stand down if external bosses have lost confidence in her ability to lead the hospital.

Adrian Hughes, regional director of CQC in the south, said: "While we would acknowledge that Wexham Park Hospital was under considerable pressure at the time of this inspection, this is not an excuse for the systemic catalogue of failings we identified there. Local people deserve much better from their hospital."