PERFORMANCE: Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust has notified regulators that it has been failing standards on same sex accommodation for more than two years, despite reporting compliance.

Ron Shields, interim chief executive of the troubled mental health and community services provider, told the trust’s board meeting on Wednesday the organisation should never have reported it was compliant with the standards.

The trust declared compliance in March 2011. Breaches of the standards can attract fines from commissioners.

Mr Shields told the board the failure affected eight wards. On six of these wards compliance had been addressed through changing “operational arrangements” while minor building works were planned to address the problem in the other two wards, he said.

“I have sent a letter, which has been copied to the board, notifying regulators that we have had a period of non-compliance in terms of same sex accommodation,” he added.

“This came to light when we were looking more closely at accommodation on some of our wards… We shouldn’t have said we were compliant.”

Monitor first intervened at the trust in April last year due to concerns about governance after the Care Quality Commission uncovered longstanding quality problems on a number of wards. Monitor then found the trust had provided regulators with “false assurance” that concerns were being dealt with. Chair Jonathan Walsh and chief executive Paul Sly resigned shortly afterwards.