Ambulances take longer to reach the scene of emergency calls in Shropshire than in other parts of the country, new figures have revealed.
West Midlands Ambulance Service has failed to reach more than one quarter of patients on serious calls in Shropshire within its target of eight minutes so far this year.
Its 72.4 per cent success rate for the county is below the national standard target of 75 per cent and the nationwide average for ambulance trusts of 76.2 per cent.
But in Telford & Wrekin the ambulance service has performed well above national standards with an 84.9 per cent success rate so far this year.
The figure represents an improvement on last year's 83.7 per cent.
The figure for the Shropshire area also represents an improvement on the last year, when only 69.2 per cent of Category A patients were reached within the target time.
And ambulance chiefs said that further improvements were expected through the introduction of dedicated community paramedics.
Category A calls 'may be immediately life threatening' and should receive an emergency response within eight minutes 'irrespective of location in 75 per cent of cases'.
Chris Kowalik, a spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service, said they were confident that response times would be significantly be improved.