LANCASHIRE health boss Azhar Ali has defended his ‘NHS record’ in response to recent attacks in the media.

The cabinet member for health at Lancashire County Council, said: “Over recent weeks there have been a few letters questioning my record on the NHS so I would like to take the opportunity to put the record straight.

“I am proud of the work I did in the NHS primarily as a non-executive director and then as chairman of Burnley NHS Trust, as well as currently chairing the Lancashire Health & Wellbeing board.

“When I became chair of Burnley NHS Trust we were rated as a one star hospital trust and under my leadership we went to the highest rating of three stars with a record number of doctors and nurses, huge investment in infrastructure including a new MRI scanner and high staff morale.

“When the new leadership of the East Lancashire NHS Trust decided to close the A&E at Burnley I led the campaign in Pendle holding public meetings and a public march against the closures.

“I also led the campaign and fight to 'save' Pendle Community Hospital from Tory cuts with over 8,000 signatures.”

Coun Ali is also Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Pendle.