SERIOUS failings in tackling infection have been identified at the trust dealing with mental health in Haringey.

NHS inspectors found poor standards of hygiene in four wards run by the Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, including one that had only recently been refurbished, and several instances of poor maintenance.

The Healthcare Commission, the Government's infection watchdog, has issued the trust with an improvement notice, which means it is not meeting standards for tackling superbugs such as MRSA and C. diff.

The Healthcare Commission has in the last few weeks been replaced by a new body, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has assessed infection controls at 388 trusts across the country.

The CQC has demanded improvement from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust.

If the wards are not suitably clean and well maintained by May 1, the CQC will urge the trust to move patients to alternative accommodation.

By June 1 this year the trust needs to conduct a "root cause" analysis to identify the "underlying systematic issues" which led to poor conditions at Tottenham’s St Ann's Hospital, the CQC said.

Maria Kane, chief executive of the trust, said "We have developed an immediate action plan which we are now implementing to fully address all the concerns as quickly as possible."

The trust works with thousands of patients across the three boroughs it serves every year, tackling problems from severe mental illnesses to substance misuse.

Most of the work is done in the community, but the trust has around 600 beds occupied throughout the year.

The CQC "registers" trusts that are meeting targets set by the NHS for tackling superbugs and the mental health trust has been provisionally registered on the condition that improvements are urgently made.

Barnet, Chase Farm and the Royal Free Hospitals were all given a clean bill of health by the CQC.

It marks a turn around by Barnet and Chase Farm Hospital Trust, which was issued with an improvement notice in 2007, backing claims by the board that hygiene is now under control.