A spokesperson for the service pointed out their ambulances had met the target in the 2012/13 financial year, but admitted response times had recently fallen away.

“In the last few months our targets have not been reached,” he admitted.

However, it has been questioned whether the hefty fine will improve results when a lack of resources has been blamed for the poor response times.

A WMAS spokesperson said: “The trust is hopeful that the Clinical Commissioning Groups in the West Midlands will adopt the same lines as other CCGs across England, which are reinvesting their fines into the ambulance service to help maintain a safe service to patients.”

In Coventry and Warwickshire, the ambulance service only just failed to reach its 75 per cent target in 2013 for patients who have suffered a cardiac arrest or stopped breathing.

South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been contacted for a response.