CORONAVIRUS restrictions forced a major health board meeting to change venues then go “almost entirely” online.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust board was originally due to meet at the Princess Royal Hospital on Thursday, March 26, but last week the trust announced a move to conference facilities at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, with some members attending in person but others participating remotely.

Chairman Ben Reid said business was usually done “in an open and transparent way”, and the scaling back was due to the “incredibly unusual times” the COVID-19 pandemic has brought. A report for the board recommended shorter, more focussed meetings with limited participants for the duration of the crisis.

A statement by SaTH ahead of the meeting said: “Plans are being made to live-stream future meetings, but the technology to allow that to happen is not yet in place.”

Minutes of the meeting, including answers to questions submitted by members of the public, would be made available after the meeting, it added.

The trust’s PR team had planned to live-tweet proceedings from SaTH’s official account, but after the meeting it tweeted: “Unfortunately due to further coronavirus restrictions the meeting was moved to almost entirely remote, meaning live-tweeting was not possible.”

Minutes would be published online, it added.

A report by Interim Director of Corporate Governance David Holden explained how the board and other committees would continue to operate throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The board would continue to meet monthly, he said, but CEO Louise Barnett and Mr Reid would decide month-by-month which executive directors needed to attend.

“The board’s agenda will be closely aligned to the trust’s key risks and reduced to key matters,” Mr holden wrote.

“No meeting will be more than two hours in duration.”