Filthy NHS wards are being plagued by pests - with maggots found in slippers and rats in maternity units, it was revealed last night.
Hospitals are so dirty that pest controllers were called out to 20,000 infestations in the past two years.
Experts warned that the appalling levels of hygiene added to the danger to patients from the deadly superbugs MRSA and C.diff, which multiply in the same environments as pests.
Official figures obtained by the Tories show that 80 per cent of NHS trusts reported problems with ants, 66 per cent with rats and 77 per cent with mice.
Cockroaches were reported at 59 per cent of trusts, biting insects or fleas at 65 per cent, and bed bugs at 24 per cent.
There were infestations of maggots at a further 6 per cent of trusts. And many of the pests were in clinical areas.