Nurses who offer patients poor levels of care should be treated "very seriously" and possibly struck off, the Government's chief nursing officer has said.
Christine Beasley said the stories contained in a report from the Patients Association were distressing and should make "sombre reading for the nursing profession".
NHS nurses have come under fire for their "cruel" and "demeaning" treatment of some patients, in particularly the elderly.
TV agony aunt and former nurse, Claire Rayner, said she was "sickened" by what had happened to some parts of her profession and called for "bad" nurses to be struck off the medical register.
A report from the charity gave stories of people left lying in their own faeces and urine, having call bells taken away from them and being left without food or drink. One former nurse told of the substandard care she received as a patient herself, adding: "It's a scary world out in the wards."
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Ms Beasley said the care offered to some of the patients was "clearly unacceptable."
She said she had read the stories, adding: "They make not only very distressing reading for patients but very sombre reading for the nursing profession. We should absolutely not condone any levels of care that some of the examples the Patients Association have given have demonstrated."
A statement from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which maintains the nursing register and hold disciplinary hearings, said: "Poor care is never acceptable. We have shared a public platform with the Patients Association about this issue in the past.
"The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to improve standards of care and anyone who has concerns about the conduct of a nurse or midwife should speak to the person in charge or contact us."
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: "The level of care described by these families is completely unacceptable, and we will not condone nurses who behave in ways that are contrary to the principles and ethics of the profession. However, we believe that the vast majority of nurses are decent, highly skilled individuals."Reuse content