NHS Tayside has denied claims that its shamed former chief executive received a severance package worth £300,000. 

Lesley McLay was signed off sick in April, the day after being stripped of her chief executive title in the wake of revelations in the Herald that the health board had used £3.6 million of charity cash for routine spending. 

It emerged that she had finally stepped down on July 31.

Labour MSP Jenny Marra claimed today [Mon] that she had been told that Ms McLay had received a "golden handshake" worth more than £300,000, describing the payment as a "slap in the face" for NHS Tayside staff and residents. 

Ms Marra, convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit committee, said she wanted to know “who signed off” on the payment to Ms McLay.

She said:  "The audit committee in parliament, which I convene, was extremely clear with both the cabinet secretary and with NHS Tayside that there should be no golden handshake for, frankly, abysmal performance as head of that organisation."

However, NHS Tayside said it was "categorically untrue" that Ms McLay had been paid £300,000. 

The health board does not deny that its ousted boss received a severance package, but has not disclosed details of the sum on grounds of confidentiality.

A spokeswoman said: “As with any NHS Tayside employee, Ms McLay received what she was contractually entitled to and nothing more upon leaving the organisation.”

The health board has received Scottish government "brokerage" loans worth more than £50 million since 2012.

A new chairman and chief executive were appointed to run NHS Tayside after the health board was put in "special measures" by the government in the wake of the charity cash scandal.