NO patients died as a result of ambulance delays this winter but three were caused serious harm, according to indepedent analysis.

A whistleblower had claimed 20 people died because of delays during an exceptionally busy period for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust in December and January.

Concerns about the way the Trust coped with demand were raised in the House of Commons.

A risk summit, convened by NHS England and NHS Improvement on January in response to concerns about ambulance services in the east of England over winter, required an independent analysis of the cases.

The trust had more than 100,000 calls between December 17 and January 16 and it has been found a “small proportion” of patients waited significantly longer for an ambulance than they should have.

There were 47 people identified whose cases were identified as potential issues, 22 were declared as serious incidents and three people suffered serious harm as a result of ambulances not arriving quick enough.

Now ambulance bosses have written to the families and patients to apologise and now plan to make contact again to explain what happened.

Trust chief executive Robert Morton said: “Firstly, on behalf of the trust, I would like to apologise to every family involved.

“We welcome the review and we will learn from each and every case.

“It was right and proper for this to be raised in the House of Commons, and we thank NHS England for their strong leadership in this matter.

“By working as a system, we can make changes to reduce the likelihood of this happening again in the same way.”

Dr Tom Davis, medical director for EEAST, said: “We are clearly saddened delays in ambulance responses meant patients waited much longer than they should have done.

“I am making sure each of the families affected is contacted to talk through their loved one’s case. Even one case is one too many.”

Among the cases which raised concerns about the ambulance service’s performance was the death of Marie Norris.

The 81-year-old died at her home in Abbigail Gardens, Clacton, after waiting almost four hours for an ambulance on January 2 after calling 999 complaining of chest pains. By the time paramedics arrived, she had died.

Earlier this month health bosses agreed to boost the amount given to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust by £11.5 million. The money will fund 300 extra paramedics and 169 ambulances.