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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Third isles health official quits
Western Isles Hospital
Health services in the isles are undergoing major change at the top
The chief executive of Western Isles Health Board has become the latest high level resignation at the organisation.

Dick Manson was originally appointed by the Scottish Executive to tackle accusations of financial mismanagement.

His resignation comes in the same month that chairman David Currie and communications officer John MacLeod stood down.

Health Minister Andy Kerr installed a new interim chairman and despatched a support team to the isles this month.

Mr Manson's departure was confirmed at a meeting of the board on Tuesday morning. He will move to another job within the NHS.

NHS Western Isles said: "Chief Executive Dick Manson is to move to a seconded post in NHS Scotland. The secondment will be for two years and is at Mr Manson's request."

This is a further positive step in the recent affairs of NHS Western Isles and is a move which will be warmly greeted throughout the islands
Councillor Angus McCormack

Interim chairman Ronnie Cleland added: "We wish Dick Manson well in his future career and thank him for his contribution to NHS Western Isles."

Malcolm Wright, who heads the Scottish Executive appointed support team, has been made interim chief executive.

The health minister said a new full-time chief executive would be appointed and the board would continue moving towards a fresh approach to how it runs health services.

Mr Kerr previously said he had seen evidence of change within the board.

He said the delivery of health care in the isles was not an issue but the conduct of board members was.

'Soap opera'

Angus MacNeil, SNP MP for the Western Isles, said he had been calling for a new start for the board for over six months.

He said: "The Western Isles NHS board has been under much public scrutiny over the past couple of years, with at times it resembling more a soap opera than a health board."

The islands' Labour MSP Alasdair Morrison said he was pleased that Mr Manson's expertise was to be employed elsewhere in the NHS and outwith the Western Isles.

Councillors Angus McCormack and Angus Graham, who have been critics of the health board, welcomed the latest resignation.

Mr McCormack said: "This is a further positive step in the recent affairs of NHS Western Isles and is a move which will be warmly greeted throughout the islands."

Mr Graham added: "It is encouraging that the new interim team at the NHS Western Isles board are beginning to recognise the problems that exist and are taking steps to resolve them."

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