A report into East Midlands Ambulance Service has found it is understaffed and “requires improvement.”

The Care Quality Commission concluded that whilst the service was struggling due to lack of resources all staff were committed to providing high quality, safe care for patients.

Richard Henderson, EMAS Acting Chief Executive, said: “Inspectors found that we were open and honest about the challenges we were facing and what we are doing to address them.”

EMAS serves a population of 4.8 million across the East Midlands and the service has been rated ‘inadequate’ for safety due to the strain on resources that has seen it record some of the worst response times in England.

Mr Henderson added: “The report makes it clear that this relates to insufficient numbers of staff and vehicles – not to the quality of care provided by our staff.

“We are sorry and disappointed that we have not met the required standard for these measures.

“EMAS is an emergency ambulance service and people in the East Midlands can be assured that we always prioritise our response to our most critically ill and injured patients.

“Another big challenge we face is retaining our staff and recruiting qualified colleagues to improve our skill mix.

“There are staff that report low morale and the CQC acknowledge that is no surprise with the unrelenting pressure, combined with the lack of resources to meet demand.”

CQC’s inspection took place for a week in November 2015.