THE Welsh Government has come under attack after new figures showed Wales has missed ambulance response targets for the 16th month in a row.

Figures for the month of August 2013 show that Welsh ambulances got to 62.9 per cent of immediately life-threatening callouts within eight minutes, slightly up on 61.6 per cent the month before.

That remains below the all-Wales target of 65 per cent – although the Welsh Government said it had seen the best performance in 12 months.

In Gwent responses within eight minutes for life-threatening call-outs, known as category A, fell from 60.6 per cent in August to 58.2 per cent in September.

The statistic for category A calls fell from 54.6 and 54.5 per cent in Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen to 49.5 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.

It also fell in Newport from 71.9 per cent to 69.9 per cent, but improved in Caerphilly from 58.1 per cent to 59.3.

Kirsty Williams AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, said: “The First Minister and his Health Minister need to stop burying their heads in the sand and start delivering the health service the people of Wales deserve.”

Last month first minister Carwyn Jones announced that NHS targets were being reviewed and could be replaced.

Darren Millar AM, Tory shadow minister for health, said the eight minute target is widely used across the UK.

“Labour Ministers must commit to the need for transparent indicators of NHS performance so the Welsh Government can be held to account for its actions by patients," he said.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are encouraged to note a greater proportion of patients who require emergency care are receiving timely access to ambulance services, particularly as this represents the best performance in 12 months.

“We expect local health boards to continue to work closely with the ambulance service towards achievement of the national target and in delivering equitable ambulance services across Wales.”