West Midlands Ambulance Service says the past year has been the most challenging in the trust’s history.

The service received more 999 calls than at any time in its history as well as having to deal with what it says are the worst handover days it has experienced.

The situation is a continuation of extreme pressures on hospitals, the trust said, which resulted in one patient waiting over 23 hours to be handed over to hospital staff in April.

Chief executive Anthony Marsh said: “This has been the most difficult period I have ever known in the ambulance service.

"I can but thank staff for their patience and resilience in what are extremely difficult times.”