Paramedics across the East of England responded to more than 640,000 emergencies in the past 12 months, the ambulance service has said.

The service celebrated 12 months of achievements, challenges and progress at its annual meeting on Wednesday.

Chairman of the East of England Ambulance Service, Maria Ball, told the meeting: "Serving patients is the reason we are all here - that is why the ambulance service exists and we are constantly striving to improve the care we deliver to patients throughout the East of England.

"Our staff have been magnificent during the past year, facing the constantly increasing demand on the 999 service and the challenges thrown at us by Mother Nature in the form of last winter’s snow and floods. I would like to thank everyone throughout the service for their contribution and for their commitment.”

She added: "There is no doubt that meeting the Government performance targets during the past year has been a massive challenge.

"Everyone in the service responded well to that challenge and, in the face of increasing demand, we only missed our main two targets by a whisker."