AN 87-YEAR-OLD man was left waiting for more than six hours in agony with a broken hip for an ambulance to arrive.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, had a fall on the decking area outside the Fountain Inn, Cowes, last Wednesday, October 10.

He fell just after midday and it wasn't until 6.30pm when it was dark and cold that any medical assistance arrived.

Staff and customers at the Fountain managed to get him into a chair, but because of the pain he was in, could not move him inside.

The man's daughter told the County Press: "The ambulance service was called again and again and my father was asked repeatedly the same questions as to whether his condition was serious or not.

"After about four hours, the same triage questions were given to my father again and once again the people in charge of ambulance dispatch decided that a man of 87, with a suspected broken hip who had been sitting in a chair outside for over four hours, was still not a priority."

The Isle of Wight Ambulance service said the situation was triaged as a category three urgent call, which requires a response within two hours.

But another two hours passed before finally an ambulance arrived — but the staff weren't qualified to administer morphine, so another ambulance was called and he had to wait even longer.

Eventually, well after 7pm, he was taken to St Mary's Hospital and has subsequently had an operation on his broken hip and is now recovering.

His daughter added: "It was appalling. By the time an ambulance arrived my father was exhausted, shaking and possibly was going into shock."

Victoria White, head of ambulance service at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said: “I want to extend my sincere apologies for the delay in responding to this patient.

"This is not the standard of response which we usually provide and we are very sorry that on this occasion we failed this patient and family.

"The service was very busy throughout the afternoon responding to category two emergency calls which require a response within 18 minutes and due to all vehicles being committed, the earliest that we were able to send a crew was 6.22pm.

"Whilst most ambulances on the Island are crewed by a paramedic and emergency vehicle operative (EVO) there are occasions when ambulances crewed by two EVOs will be sent to calls."