RESPONSE times have been a concern for our ambulance service for years. The latest figures do nothing to alleviate these worries, with SCAS falling short of national targets, especially in rural areas.

It is a fine balancing act for the service in the face of cuts and increased pressure from the NHS 111 service.

The demand is highest in built-up urban areas such as Oxford and so it is understandable most resources are placed there. But it should not mean those who live in rural areas should have to endure a worse service.

Especially as those first few minutes can be the difference between life and death.

The installation of defibrillators and re-establishing an ambulance base in Witney are ways to try to tackle this problem.

But these measures can only go so far and the greater problem needs to be addressed.

David Cameron has said he is working to do something about the missed targets, which are embarrassingly at their worst around his constituency of Witney.

But he seems to be reeling out the same old rhetoric while results are not improving.

What is needed is the same urgency that is shown by those paramedics and first responders desperate to save the lives of the people they serve.

Perhaps we should measure response times of politicans and scrutinise them as much as our emergency services.