An extra 24/7 ambulance is on the road in Cromer but more needs to be done to improve “poor” response times in north Norfolk, according to ambulance bosses.

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Brett Norton and Matthew Broad, from the East of England Ambulance Service, told members of North Norfolk District Council overview and scrutiny committee today the service was keen to work with Cromer Hospital, especially with stroke victims.

Mr Broad said main targets for ambulance service chief executive Anthony Marsh were redressing the balance of double-staffed ambulances compared to rapid response vehicles; replacing older vehicles with newer ones; and improving response times in north Norfolk.

He added paramedics currently arrived at 56pc of red two incidents - life-threatening cases - in the area within the eight minute target.

Mr Broad said: “The north Norfolk response times are poor. We have to do more. The north Norfolk and south Norfolk clinical commissioning group areas are the highest priorities for the service.”

The biggest challenge was the geography and getting patients to hospital in as quick a time as possible but he added the “huge delays” and queues of ambulances seen outside the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital last year had mostly disappeared.

He said: “We live in an area which as a unique demographic with an ageing population. Some 60pc of cases in north Norfolk are taken to hospital. We are reducing the amount of cars to be able to have more transportable resources.”

The two managers are based at the Health and Emergency Operations Centre in Hellesdon, Norwich, where 999 and 111 calls are picked up.

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