A senior health board manager has claimed he was 'turfed out' of his job to make way for a new regime.

The claim was made by Alun Thomas, lawyer for Nigel Young, former director of commissioning and strategic management at Tayside health board, during a five-day hearing at an employment tribunal in Edinburgh last week.

Mr Young is one of a group of senior health board managers who were alleged to have sanctioned overpayments to themselves and others, against NHS regulations.

Mr Young initially went on extended leave rather than be suspended pending an investigation into the overpayments.

He was then suspended, but resigned the day before he was due to attend a disciplinary hearing to face charges of gross misconduct.

Mr Young claimed this week that he had repeatedly requested information from the board which he believed was necessary to challenge the accusations being made against him.

The tribunal was told that when he did not receive this information he resigned, believing he would not receive fair treatment at the hearing.

Mr Young claimed that he did nothing wrong and said health board members had been fully briefed on decisions relating to managers' pay. He also claimed that the health board fuelled media speculation about the overpayments.

He is demanding£10,000 pay in lieu of holidays he claims he did not take while employed at the health board and is also seeking reinstatement. His lawyer told the tribunal that he was a man who 'had lost everything' and had been 'singled out' before he had a chance to defend himself.

Health board lawyer James Peoples QC said Mr Young 'deliberately took himself out of the disciplinary process before the hearing stage'. He said Mr Young had no reason to believe he would not be given a fair hearing.

He also said that the relationship between Mr Young and other health board members had 'irretrievably broken down' and there was no possibility of re-establishing a working relationship.

Tayside health board general manager Tim Brett said there would be great difficulty in reinstating Mr Young.

He also said that Mr Young, unlike other senior managers who had received overpayments, had yet to make any repayment of the£10,450 paid to him.

The tribunal will issue its judgement in writing at a later date.