Desperate relatives slept overnight in chairs at the Staffordshire General Hospital providing basic care for their loved ones, while other patients were left in soiled linen on filthy wards.
Conditions were described as 'Third World' by campaigners who have been fighting for months to get an inquiry.
The 'shocking' details of a catalogue of failures were released today after an independent investigation into the treatment of emergency patients by the Healthcare Commission.
It found Government waiting time targets and a bid to win foundation status were pursued at the expense of patient safety over at least a three-year period at the trust.
But campaigners claimed the lapses may go back much further and could be happening elsewhere in the NHS.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson pledged high-level reviews of current A&E services at the Trust and standards prior to the investigation.
He said 'I have asked the National Quality Board to ensure that the early warning system for clinical under performance is working effectively across the whole of the NHS.'
The Commission's report found an excess of between 400 and 1,200 deaths over what would have been expected at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, based on statistical calculations, as revealed in today's Daily Mail.