NHS bosses have disputed claims from staff that cardiac patients are being incorrectly sent to the urgent care centre at Burnley General Hospital.

Senior councillors from Burnley and Pendle were shocked when they were told by medics, at the opening of the new centre, that heart patients had been taken to the centre – instead of the accident and emergency department at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

They called on health chiefs to give assurances the siuation will not occur in future.

Coun Azhar Ali, county council health cabinet member, said: “I believe the current situation at Burnley is totally unacceptable and is putting lives at risk, with heart patients going into Burnley and then having to wait after triage to be transported to Blackburn.”

Coun Julie Cooper, the leader of Burnley Council and chairman of the East Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Partnership, said it was a matter of real concern if patients were being delayed by 20 or 30 minutes as a result of being wrongly taken to the urgent care centre.

But in a joint statement, East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust, the North West Ambulance Service and East Lancashire Clinical Commissoning Group, insisted there had been ‘no recorded cases’ of patients being sent to the wrong treatment centre.

A spokesman said: “An agreed patient care pathway between the Burnley urgent care centre and Royal Blackburn Hospital is in place.

“Paramedics are well aware that patients displaying serious cardiac symptoms should not be treated at the urgent care centre.”