RESPONSE time targets have failed to be met by the East of England Ambulance Service.

Figures published ahead of an NHS board meeting tomorrow, Wednesday February 27, show national targets have consistently been missed for ten months since last April.

The failings account for both eight-minute and 19-minute targets for responding to category A patients - those in an immediately life-threatening condition.

Not once did North East Essex and Mid-Essex meet the target, of responding to 95 per cent calls with 19 minutes.

Just six out of 13 Primary Care Trust areas, including South East, South West and West Essex, managed to meet the target bracket every month.

The eight-minute response target, of 75 per cent, was only met once in North East Essex, last April.

The news comes a week after the ambulance service introduced 15 extra ambulances to its fleet following a review in response to patient and staff feedback.

A service spokesman said it recognised the need to improve its performance against time targets and is implementing a number of measures to do so.