Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley has backed calls for accident and emergency status to be restored to the emergency service at Burnley General Hospital in Lancashire.

In a letter to NHS North West chief executive Mike Farrar, Mr Lansley said Burnley General Hospital “has the capacity to deal with the majority of emergency needs” and there was “no reason” why A&E services should not be returned to the hospital.

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust axed Burnley General Hospital’s “blue light” provision in 2007, rebranding it as an urgent care centre.

But following local concerns over the service, Pendle Labour MP Gordon Prentice called for “blue light” protocols to be established, enabling routine cases to go to Burnley and more specialised emergencies to go to the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Mr Prentice’s request for a full review of how urgent care is provided in East Lancashire was rejected by health secretary Andy Burnham, who asked NHS North West to review Burnley urgent care centre alone.

The review is expected to be concluded by the end of this month.