The chair of the Commons health select committee has raised fears that arguments in support of reconfiguration could lead to ambulance control centres being moved abroad.

Rother Valley Labour MP Kevin Barron is concerned about plans under consultation by Yorkshire Ambulance Service to close a control centre in Rotherham and use a centre in York, 55 miles away, to pick up emergency calls.

Supporters of the reconfiguration plans say satellite technology enables staff to work in areas with no local knowledge.

In a joint statement with two other Yorkshire MPs, Mr Barron said this 'could be an argument for relocating call centres outside Yorkshire and even the UK'.

The MPs wrote the statement as part of a campaign to halt the reconfiguration plans.

A manager in the ambulance service, who preferred to remain anonymous, said he could foresee calls to move control centres abroad, but was against the idea.

'It's feasible that people will push for that option. But clearly there would be concerns about the lack of local knowledge as well as connectivity problems if calls were dealt with in foreign countries.'

Ambulance Service Union general secretary Steve Rice also condemned the idea.

He said: 'Moving control centres out of the UK would be a real danger given the language barriers.

'Satellite navigation systems are not always accurate and there are roads and buildings that don't show up on a map.'

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said there were no plans to move control centres out of the UK.

But a spokeswoman said hi-tech equipment enabled staff to pinpoint any local area and quickly arrange for the appropriate help, regardless of whether they had personal knowledge of the area.