THE INAUGURAL meeting of a new committee supervising Shropshire’s A&E departments was “lively” and “adversarial”, and some attendees even questioned the need for it, the trust board has heard.

The Emergency Department Oversight Group met for the first time last month, and aims to reassure the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust board that deficiencies reported by the Care Quality Commission in 2018 are being addressed.

Clinical effectiveness director Edwin Borman admitted some attendees asked “Why are we having yet another meeting?” but added that everyone left the meeting more committed to it.

Paula Clark, SaTH’s interim chief executive, said she supported the foundation of the EDOG, but said the trust was trying to reduce the number of unnecessary meetings.

Tony Carrol, the non-executive director who chaired the EDOG meeting, wrote in his report: “The board have asked for this group to act as the assurance group for addressing improvement requirements highlighted by the 2018 Care Quality Commission report in respect of an emergency department service and the rating of ‘inadequate’ overall.”

He wrote that, as chair, he “recognised the pressure” another meeting would impose, “but emphasised the importance of providing assurance to the board and clarity around any mitigating actions”.

SaTH board chair Ben Reid said: “Reading the report, you can detect it was a lively meeting.

“It feels a bit adversarial. Did it settle?”

Dr Borman said: “Some of the time there was a sense that ‘Can’t you just get on with it rather than just talking about it?’

“The department is learning that governance around what we do is a fundamental part of improving.

“You only need to read the CQC and NHS Improvement reports to find this is an area where we need to do much more.

“We did reach a point in the meeting where it was recognised that the EDOG had added value.

“I do believe everyone left the meeting with a greater sense of commitment to its continuation than when they arrived.”

Mrs Clark, who took over following the resignation of previous CEO Simon Wright in June, said: “We’re working to try to cull out some of the unnecessary meetings.

“We need to make sure meetings are fruitful and worthwhile.”

But she added that she believes the EDOG is worthwhile.

“I would like to see this as a meeting that solves some problems, rather than another bureaucratic game,” she said.