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A disabled man with Down’s Syndrome was left for dead after an NHS hospital deprived him of food for 20 days, an inquest into his death has heard.

The inquest heard that Giuseppe “Joe” Ulleri, 61, died in his hospital bed after healthcare chiefs decided that he would be “nil by mouth”.

Mr Ulleri was rushed into A&E in February 2016 following to a devastating fall at his supported living home in Didsbury, Manchester.

He was later discharged but then readmitted after doctors discovered he had fractures to his pelvis, wrist and neck.

The Mirror reports that the cruel decision not to feed Mr Ulleri was taken after doctors realised he was also struggling to swallow due to an ongoing acid reflux problem.

However, his relatives claim that their loved and treasured family member was left without any form of nutrition for almost three weeks due to miscommunication and inaction by staff.

This, in turn, resulted in Mr Ulleri suffering from fatal pneumonia which inevitably cost him his life.

His brother Peter told the inquiry into his premature death that Manchester Royal Infirmary had provided “third-rate medical care”.

“There was a fragmented approach which gave us serious cause for concern”, he said.

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Acting area coroner Angharad Davies told the inquest: “Whilst in hospital Joe was looked after by a range of different staff, from nurses, to speech specialists to dieticians.

“A decision was made that he would be ‘nil by mouth.”

The coroner added: “A nasal gastric tube was fitted but that proved ­problematic and was only in place for 24 hours.

“After that Joe had a long period when he had no nutritional support.”

He died on March 20 whilst medics were still debatating on how he should be fed.

The inquest has yet to reach a verdict on whether the hospital failed in its due on care.