Ambulance took 70 minutes to get to injured 85-year-old in Chessington
A confused 85-year-old woman was left lying on the floor in agony for more than an hour because emergency staff were too busy to take her to hospital.
The pensioner was left prostrate on the edge of the road when she tripped on a curb with her walking frame, banging her head and injuring her hip in North Parade, Chessington, on Friday afternoon.
Several shoppers comforted the woman but, despite concerned witnesses making emergency calls, the ambulance did not show up an hour and 10 minutes later.
The old lady was kept warm with blankets from nearby vets while passersby covered her with umbrellas and plastic sheets to keep her out of the rain.
Air stewardess Nikki Parson, from Chessington, who witnessed the fall, said she called for an ambulance three times but was told they were "too busy".
The 42-year-old said she was afraid to take the woman to hospital in her car in case it made her injuries worse.
She said: "I am absolutely disgusted and furious. I can’t believe we live in a society that lets old people, people who helped to build this country, down so badly.
"There were children coming out of school and passersby. It was so embarrassing and demeaning for her yet they didn’t seem to be bothered.
"She had hit her head and was very confused, it was absolutely terrible.
"Add to that it was pouring with rain and she was in agony and catching her death."
A London Ambulance Service spokesman apologised for the delay.
He said: "We were called just after 2.25pm on Friday to an elderly lady who had fallen over in North Parade, Chessington.
"Unfortunately we were busy at the time and so weren't able to send an ambulance immediately.
"A crew arrived at the scene at 3.35pm, but we would like to apologise for this delay in responding.
"The patient is understood to have been an 85-year-old lady, who was fully conscious but had hip and shoulder pain.
"She was checked over at the scene before being taken to Kingston Hospital."
London Ambulance Service announced plans earlier this month to cut 890 jobs, with 560 in frontlines positions, over the next five years in an effort to save £53m.
The reduction, representing almost 20% of the service's 5,000 staff, will cause "carnage", campaign groups have warned.