AN ISLE of Wight Councillor accused health bosses of trying to talk their way out of being held to account.

A special health Isle of Wight Council scrutiny meeting took place at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, to discuss the ongoing improvement plan for the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

The trust was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in April 2017.

The format of the meeting had been agreed between health executives and scrutiny chairman, John Nicholson.

Ten people, including staff, service users and representatives from the patient’s council, had prepared presentations on the improvements made since the CQC report.

However, 20 minutes into the meeting, Cllr Geoff Brodie said the format should be changed to a question and answer session instead.

Cllr Brodie said: “I am a little concerned we are only halfway through the second of the ten people we were going to hear from. I prepared for this meeting over the weekend. I fully read the CQC report and I know what I want to ask.

“This is another example of the health service on the Isle of Wight talking at the scrutiny committee without us getting the chance to challenge them, to scrutinise them, to hold them to account.

“I am not prepared to sit through another two hours of all of this, which I’ve read the vast majority of what the outcomes were.

“Can we not just get on with the meeting rather than, as usual, being talked at by NHS professionals and non-executives?”

Health bosses said the format of the meeting had been agreed ahead of the meeting.

Chief executive Maggie Oldham said: “We will be responsive to how you want to conduct the meeting.

“It’s not that we planned to talk at you at all as we tried to explain. This report was from a visit in January and we wanted to share that with you.

“If you want to ask questions for the next hour-and-a-half, we are happy with that.”

Staff remained for the rest of the meeting, answering questions about the improvements made to health services, as part of a plan to ‘get to good by 2020’.

Cllrs Karl Love and Brodie focused on the improvements to leadership since the report.

Ms Oldham said the concerns around leadership were not new.

“They’re a decade in the making. You can’t switch that overnight, it’s about education and development. It will take time,” she said.

Ten-week plans have been introduced across multiple departments, including medicine, surgery, mental health and the emergency department.

Each will be given goals to improve safety and performance.

Councillors also requested copies of perfomance data come before the scrutiny committee, so they can analyse the trust’s improvement.