A controversial urgent medical helpline has been missing key targets for answering calls within a minute, a new report shows.

But health bosses insist Yorkshire’s NHS 111 line is getting better and is now one of the highest performing services in the country.

The NHS 111 line was rolled out last Easter as the new number to call for urgent but non-emergency care.

Staff are meant to answer at least 95 per cent of calls within a minute, but new figures show that in the Yorkshire region, this target had been missed three-quarters of the time.

Steve Page, executive director of standards and compliance at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which manages the service locally, insisted it was performing well.

He said: “Despite significant volumes over the winter and festive period, we exceeded the national target of answering 95 per cent of these calls within 60 seconds and throughout this busy period our NHS 111 service was one of the top performing in the country.

“We are confident that people contacting NHS 111 in our area receive a responsive, safe and appropriate service from us and remain focused on continuing to provide high-quality urgent care services to people across our region.”