The ambulance service says it is sorry it could not get a crew out quicker to a woman who had to wait more than 100 minutes lying on the ground after collapsing in Melton town centre.
East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said the woman was not considered to be in a serious condition and that it had high demand at the time from patients needing more urgent treatment.
Firefighters waited with the woman and comforted her for more than an hour while she waited for the ambulance to arrive on the afternoon of Tuesday October 29 close to The Black Swan pub in Sherrard Street.
EMAS said it received a call at 1.36pm stating that a patient had fallen outside a pharmacy in Sherrard Street.
A crewed ambulance was seen to arrive around 3.20pm and the woman involved was taken for treatment at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
An onlooker, who declined to be named, told the Melton Times: “A woman has been on the ground for nearly two hours waiting for an ambulance.
“I can’t believe it has taken this long. It’s quite cold and she’s just lying there. There are some firemen with her at the moment but no sign of an ambulance.”
Lee Brentnall, EMAS ambulance operations manager for Leicestershire, said: “We are sorry we were unable to get to this patient sooner.
“However, there was a high demand on the service at the time, and many of these patients were experiencing more serious emergencies.
“Every 999 call is assessed based on the information we receive and while we aim to get to all patients as quickly as possible, those experiencing life-threatening emergencies, such as cardiac arrest or breathing difficulties, do take priority and have to be seen first.”
Mr Brentnall thanked the crew from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service for waiting with the woman and making her comfortable. They responded after spotting her as the fire engine was travelling through the town centre.
“This patient was categorised as Category 3, which means that she had an urgent problem, but that it was not serious or life-threatening,” added Mr Brentnall.
“We aim to get to 9 out of 10 of all Category 3 patients within two hours, and our response was within this time frame.
“She also received a comprehensive clinical assessment over the phone by one of our paramedics from our Clinical Assessment Team in our 999 control room, and given advice that if her condition worsened, to call 999 again so that she could be reassessed.”
Mr Brentnall urged the woman involved to get in touch with them.
He said: ““We would like to speak to the patient directly to help us improve the care we provide.
“If they would be willing to speak to us, I would like to ask them to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by by emailing email@example.com or telephoning 0333 0124216.”