WEST Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust has been commended for the services it provides patients across the two counties.

The trust was presented with an award in the ambulance service of the year category at the annual health business awards which focus on examples of innovation, dedication and teamwork evident in the NHS. They also recognise and celebrate the significant contributions made each year by NHS trusts and the individuals they employ.

Chief executive Anthony Marsh said: "We are absolutely delighted that the excellent progress this trust has made over the last 18 months has been recognised as among the best in the country. The judges were looking for trusts who have improved their response times, but more importantly, their ability to provide treatment at the scene of an incident.

"No one could doubt the huge efforts that our staff have put into meeting these goals. Ultimately, it is the patients who have benefited from the progress.

"We have come so far in such a short time and it is down to the hard work of staff . One of our great strengths has been the way we have been able to take the best practice from each of our localities and roll it out across the rest of the region."

Chairman Sir Graham Meldrum said: "When you consider that over the past five years the number of ambulance 999 calls has gone up by a third, it is a credit to the work ethic of the staff