THE ambulance service covering the West Midlands has been fined £2.6 million for failing to meet response time targets.

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) was fined by the region’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) after it missed the government-enforced target to answer at least 75 per cent of emergency calls in 2013-14 within eight minutes.

But the service said it had only missed the target by an average of 12 seconds.

A WMAS spokesman said it had agreed that £1.8 million of the fine will be re-invested into the service to be used to improve its performance while the remaining £800,000 will be paid to the various CCGs

“We welcome the input of Commissioners to work in partnership to find solutions to the challenges we face in regard to performance,” she said.

“The trust is currently exceeding all of its performance standards for 2014-15.”