Published: 17/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5943 Page 12

An acute trust has admitted it is operating mixed-sex wards despite having claimed to have hit the government's target to eliminate them by last year.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals trust admitted to having mixed-sex wards last week despite official claims that the trust no longer runs them.

An article in last weekend's Sunday Telegraph shows photographs of men and women sharing a ward at the trust's Oldchurch hospital in Romford.

A spokesperson told HSJ that wards at the hospital 'are divided into male and female sides, however, it sometimes becomes necessary to put female patients on the male side or vice versa'.

She said that a recent surge in the number of accident and emergency attendances subsequent admissions had exacerbated the problem.