Great Western Ambulance Service has said it welcomes a report by the Audit Commission which accuses some ambulance staff of fidling response times.

The Trust said: "Since its inception in April 2006, the trust has introduced action plans to significantly improve the way response times are recorded in Wiltshire, including close board scrutiny of reported data which allows them to identify inconsistencies in recording. "

Chief Executive, Tim Lynch, commented, "The report dates back to 2005/06 and we would like to stress that we have since taken a number of steps to ensure current recording is more robust and reliable.

"We're pleased that the Audit Commission has recognised that we have responded well to the recommendations and that the board is actively monitoring processes to manage data quality. Appropriate controls have now been put in place to ensure the accuracy of response time data, along with additional management support.

"Improvements to record keeping and management of response times have also been made in Avon and Gloucestershire. We can now be confident that they accurately reflect performance across the Trust area.

He added, "We are continuing to develop our trust-wide IT systems, moving away from the three separate systems used by the former Ambulance Trusts to one unified model. This will also improve our ability to record, monitor and predict demand levels, helping us to manage resources more efficiently for our patients.

"We are shortly to discuss further plans for improvement across the trust with staff, health overview and scrutiny committees and patient and public involvement forums, which represent local people's interests. The public can be reassured that we have decided to introduce regular audit of all those systems as standard practice."