The chair of Fife health board has resigned following intervention by Scottish health and social services minister Susan Deacon in controversial service delivery changes.

Charlotte Stenhouse offered her resignation after 25 years in the NHS, and made it clear she was leaving as a result of Ms Deacon's intervention.

In a statement she said: 'I very much regret the minister's view , but I realise that if she has no confidence in me to deliver the Scottish Parliament's agenda for health in Fife then of course I must agree to her request and resign.'

Shake-ups of acute services in Fife have claimed a number of scalps over the past two years.

Former chair Lord Ewing of Kirkford resigned over a health board strategy for integrated health, which he described as 'an act of wanton vandalism'. He was replaced by his predecessor, Ms Stenhouse, a former chair of Kirkcaldy Acute trust.

Chief executive Pat Frost left last year, following a board shake-up.

The health board is now holding an acute services review, prompted by a Scotland-wide review last year. It is proposing that acute inpatient and maternity services should be located solely at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, with Dunfermline's Queen Margaret Hospital becoming a specialist day care centre.

But some public meetings have ended in chaos. One in Dunfermline broke up because of 'fears for public safety' as hundreds of people were refused entry because the venue was too small.

Ms Deacon said: 'Delivering and communicating change. . . has been a particularly difficult issue in Fife. But we must move forward.'

A spokesperson for Ms Deacon said an immediate search would begin to fill the chief executive and finance director posts.