A CHILD pyschiatrist has pledged to address concerns about the NHS shake-up affecting Burnley General Hospital after securing a Lancashire County Council seat.

Dr Misfar Hassan has acknowledged the continuing unease over the closure of the Casterton Avenue site’s accident and emergency ward and planned removal of the children’s ward in October.

The father-of-three works for East Lancashire Hospital Trust at the Burnley site, as well as the Royal Blackburn and Accrington Victoria hospitals.

Labour’s Dr Hassan snatched the Burnley Central East division seat from the Liberal Democrats in the county poll, beating borough council cabinet member Martin Smith by 878 seats. The seat had been held by the late Coun Bill Bennett.

Dr Hassan said: “My first concern is to provide the best possible health service for the people of Burnley.

“There are a lot of concerns about the hospital and I will be looking into that and hoping to make a difference.

“I want to provide the best possible service for those who are concerned about going to the Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment.”

Former Burnley MP Peter Pike gave invaluable support to the doctor, who only joined the Labour Party a year ago, as he canvassed his division.

The doctor paid tribute to Mr Pike’s assistance, especially as he hit the streets in areas not normally renowned as Labour hotbeds.

Dr Hassan is also interested in tackling anti-social behaviour on the streets of central Burnley.

“We need to provide alternatives for the people who are creating difficultites for the community.

"People are suffering as a result and we need to look at areas where we can improve,” he added.

The doctor is supportive of the Building Schools for the Future programme, as his daughters have attended the revamped Sir John Thursby College, and he has identified education as another passion.