The Scottish health minister has been asked to sack the entire senior management team of NHS Western Isles amid claims that it has descended into farce.

The Scottish health minister has been asked to sack the entire senior management team of NHS Western Isles amid claims that it has descended into farce.

Local MSP Alasdair Morrison said a 'wholesale clearout' was needed, naming in particular chief executive Dick Manson, medical director Dr John Smithand and chair David Currie.

Mr Morrison made the call after the health board (one of just 14 in Scotland) appointed a communications director apparently on the basis of a controversial public relations strategy document.

In the paper, John MacLeod, a columnist with the Scottish Daily Mail, berates the 'average GP' as having 'an ego the size of Clisham' (a local mountain) and says local doctors can be 'vain and greedy'. He also says the public seems to expect all illness to be preventable and that pregnant women expect to be 'pandered to' and to have a pain-free labour.

The strategy is also disparaging about Mr Morrison, a Labour MSP and suggests fostering better relations with the SNP candidate for his Scottish Parliament seat and with the SNP Westminster MP to help them rebut Mr Morrison's critcisms.

In his letter to the minister, Mr Morrison said the document 'proves beyond question the sinister, underhand and completely unreliable management style that has led to this all-time low'.

Referring to the French footballer who was sent off during the World Cup for headbutting an opponent despite lack of clear provocation, Mr Morrison told HSJ: 'I think the health board must have had a Zinedine Zidane moment to employ this man on the basis of this paper. I can't see how the situation can be remedied while the senior management remain in place.'

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said that the health minister, Andy Kerr, had not yet seen Mr Morrison's correspondence. 'When he has considered it, we will respond as soon as possible,' he said.

A health board spokesperson said: 'We are working hard, as ever, to extend and improve patient services for the 21st century. We note Mr Morrison's comments and as the minister considers his proposals, further observations from us at this time would be inappropriate.'

Mr MacLeod, who was sacked from The Heraldnewspaper for remarks about the deaths of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in Soham (he said if their parents had kept the Lord's Day they would not have died), lives in Lewis, one of the principal islands of the Western Isles.

In his 12-page document, Mr MacLeod says he believes it unlikely that the Scottish Executive would intervene in NHS Western Isles so close to next year's Scottish Parliament election.

He also suggests rebranding the board with a name change - adding: 'Health Heb [presumably short for Hebrides] has a certain ring to it.'

In 2004, the health board's previous chief executive, Murdo MacLennan, was the first NHS Scotland chief executive to be dismissed after being absent for around a year.