Patients most urgently in need of care are not being got to quick enough by an ambulance service now ranked bottom for delays.

New government figures show the East of England Ambulance service is the worst in England for the number of delayed responses.

A Freedom of Information Act request revealed in the year June 2017 to June 2018 the longest wait for an ambulance in the East was 24 hours and 54 minutes, the worst in the country.

Further figures also show that the services missed the seven minute response time for the most urgent cases on all five months from March to July this year.

Alex Mayer, Labour MEP for Essex, said "At the start of the year we had an emergency investigation into whether ambulance delays caused the deaths of patients in the East of England.

"We were promised improvements.

"This is no reflection on our hard working ambulance staff. These professionals need to be given the tools to do their lifesaving jobs.

"I'm worried if our ambulance service is missing targets in the summer and the possible problems that could occur if there is another winter crisis.

"The Government needs to better resource the whole NHS."

The shocking figures came to light in the same month plans to use community first responders as ambulance drivers were leaked to the Health Service Journal.

The East of England Ambulance Service had “very early discussions” about the idea, while also considering drafting in the military to cover staff shortages.