KEIGHLEY'S would-be Labour MP has voiced alarm at increased ambulance response times in the region.

Figures show that the average wait for an emergency ambulance in Yorkshire and Humber has risen in the past year from 314.4 to 414.6 seconds.

John Grogan, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Keighley, said the NHS statistics raised "real concerns" that lives were being put at risk.

He added: "Our region has seen one of the highest increases in response times in the country.

“For people who've suffered cardiac arrest or a stroke, every second counts and that is why this slump in standards cannot continue.

"Urgent action is needed from the government to turn things around."

Ian Brandwood, executive director of human resources with the Yorkshire ambulance trust, admitted it had been a challenging start to the year.

“This has been compounded by a significant increase of up to 19 per cent in demand to respond to the most seriously ill and injured patients – an increase which is also being seen across the country," he said.

“Reaching patients as quickly as possible and providing high quality clinical care remains our priority and we would like to reassure the public that we are working hard to address the challenges we are currently facing and make improvements to our response times. This includes discussions with our staff and Unison representatives."