PERFORMANCE: The trust’s response times for “Category A” calls improved in January, after they plummeted under major pressures over Christmas and New Year, but it remained unhopeful it could meet its target for the year.

NWAS attended 74.08 per cent of Category A, or immediately life threatening, incidents within eight minutes in January, compared with just 58.8 per cent in December, according to its latest performance report.

But the service remained doubtful that it could hit its key target of responding to 75 per cent of all Category A calls within eight minutes for 2010/11.

The report said: “Category A8 performance continued to be affected during the month of January by the number of calls and longer turnaround times although performance improved towards the end of the month as activity decreased from its peak.

“With the cumulative position standing at 73.18 per cent it is unlikely that Category A performance will be recovered although every effort is being made to do so.”