Ambulances in the West Midlands area hit all their response time targets in April, according to new figures.

In April 2015, 81.2 per cent of category A red 1 calls, which are the highest priority blue light calls, arrived within eight minutes, the best performance in England.

For category A red 2 calls, which covers all other emergency ambulance calls, 76.8 per cent arrived within eight minutes, also the best performance in England.

The standard for ambulance services is to send an emergency response, with a defibrillator, within eight minutes to 75 per cent of category A calls.

The target for red 1 emergency calls to arrive within eight minutes in England has been hit for the first time in a year.

In April 2015, of category A red 1 calls in England resulting in an emergency response, the proportion arriving within eight minutes was 75.6 per cent, the red 1 standard was met in April 2015 for the first time since April 2014.

For category A red 2 calls, the proportion arriving within eight minutes was 72.4 per cent.

The April 2015 red 1 proportion was above the standard for seven of the 11 ambulance Services in England: East Midlands, West Midlands (highest with 81.2 per cent), East of England, South Central, South East Coast, South Western and Isle of Wight.

The 'dispatch on disposition' pilot allows more time for triage (to identify the clinical situation and take appropriate action), based upon clinical advice that this would be likely to improve the overall outcomes for ambulance patients.

The pilot covers all calls received by London Ambulance Service (LAS) and South Western Ambulance Service (SWAS) from February 10, 2015.

Therefore, after that date, for those services, data for the eight-minute red 2 or 19-minute category A measures are not comparable with other services or earlier dates.

For all England, the red 2 measure increased from 69.6 per cent in March 2015 to 72.4 per cent in April 2015.

With LAS and SWAS excluded, the measure had a similar increase, from 71.6 per cent to 74.5 per cent.

In April 2015, North East, West Midlands, South East Coast and South Central had more than 75 per cent of red 2 responses within eight minutes. London and South Western had fewer than 70 per cent.