AMBULANCE crews maintained their average response time to the most serious life threatening calls, despite an almost ten per cent increase in such incidents over the year, figures show.

The Scottish Ambulance Service's annual review reveals average response times across the country remained at 6.5 minutes in 2013/14.

Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the top time of six minutes, while times in the Western Isles and Shetland stood at 9.1 and ten minutes, respectively.

Loading article content

Overall, crews responded to 105,200 potentially-life-threatening emergencies within eight minutes, up more than 8,000 from the previous year.

In 2013/14, teams answered more than 850,000 calls to control rooms and responded to more than 650,000 incidents.

The air ambulance service flew 3,427 missions, up six per cent on the previous year.

Crews saved the lives of some 509 heart attack patients, the annual figures show.

More than 77,000 patients were treated by crews at scene, meaning they did not have to go to hospital.

However, some targets were missed. The aim to respond to 80 per cent of cardiac arrest patients within eight minutes was not reached, with an actual figure of 77.1 per cent.

The service was also slightly short of target in areas such as response times to non-life-threatening incidents, sickness absence rates and punctuality for picking up patients after a hospital appointment.