A staggering 5,000 emergency calls led to West Midlands Ambulance Service experience its busiest day ever yesterday.

The new high spiked at 5,001 calls - the first time it has ever reached the 5,000 mark after January 1, 2017 saw just 4,628 in comparison. New Year's Day is traditionally the busiest day of the year.

However, WMAS trust chief executive, Anthony Marsh, said what is of concern is that Sunday, March 4, was the third busiest day ever, with 4,451 emergency calls received.

He continued: “These are unprecedented call numbers; astonishingly, demand was almost 20 per cent higher than we would have expected.

“It is a huge concern that so many people have seemingly ignored other NHS services and felt the need to dial 999.

“An increase in cases due to the snow was expected but the fact that call numbers have spiked upwards so sharply since that period is very worrying.

“We will be looking into the cases to try and work out whether there are any patterns or reasons behind such rises.

“Because of the snow, we had already put considerably more resources on duty than we would normally have done at this time, yet this was still not enough to deal with all of the cases in a timely manner. For this I am sorry.

“Although we were able to resource all of the most serious incidents, unfortunately, some patients with less serious conditions did wait much longer than we would have wanted."

Mr Marsh also thanked staff and volunteers for their efforts, adding: "The sense of community has been extraordinary; seeing such generosity shows just how ‘Great’, Britain really is.”