The region’s ambulance service is ranked in top five in the country for its response to the most critically ill patients, latest figures show.

The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) has made significant improvements in performance over the past year, despite demand increasing by nearly seven per cent.

Until July 2014, the trust was the worst performing of 11 ambulance services for responses to the most life-threatening Red 1 emergencies – such as unconscious patients or those with traumatic injuries – which should be reached within eight minutes.

But since October, crews are reaching these patients faster than the majority of other ambulance services, consistently being ranked in the top five in the country.

In addition, there are improvements in the trust’s response for Red 2 calls - the second most serious type of emergencies - which were reached within eight minutes 61 per cent of the time last April, but 65 per cent of the time in January and 66 per cent of the time last month.