A PENSIONER was left waiting nearly two hours in the pouring rain for an ambulance.

Patricia Hambleton, who has numerous health conditions, tripped on a curb at the Mary Street West stop, in Lever Park Avenue, Horwich on Wednesday evening.

The 72-year-old and her husband were returning from a coach trip to Blackpool when the incident happened.

Victor Hambleton, 76, said: “I was putting my wife’s walking frame in the boot when somebody shouted ‘Pat’s fallen’, she’d tripped on the curb and fell on the pavement as she couldn’t see anything because it was dark. The lighting there isn't very good.

“A neighbour phoned for an ambulance, then she phoned again and again. Two and a half hours later a first responder vehicle turned up.

“Twenty minutes later an ambulance arrived. We tried to help her up ourselves but she was in too much pain."

Mrs Hambleton is partially sighted in one eye and blind in the other. She also has diabetes and struggles with a lung condition. Neighbours brought blankets and duvets to cover her and she was sheltered with an umbrella.

Mrs Hambleton said: “I felt really rotten. I was shivering, I was cold, I was wet through.

“It’s a good job I don’t have pneumonia. I felt humiliated lying there."

Mrs Hambleton left hospital at 2am and was treated for badly bruised knees and toes.

Mr Hambleton said: “I cannot fault the crew when they did arrive, they were fantastic. I cannot fault the people at the hospital.

“But to leave a lady of 72 lying on the pavement in the pouring rain. The dispatch team said she wasn’t a priority.”

The North West Ambulance Service said the first call was received at just after 7pm , the first responder arrived at 8.30pm and the ambulance arrived at 8.55pm.

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said: “We are aware of the incident and have been contacted by the family and so a full review will be carried out and the findings shared with them.

“We understand that waiting for an ambulance can be distressing and we are very sorry that we were unable to get to this patient as quickly as we would have liked.

“Although we do take into account patients being in a public place we must prioritise incidents based on the severity of their condition so that we can get to those who need the most immediate help first.

“At the time of this call, we were experiencing a high volume of calls and had 118 emergencies in the Greater Manchester area waiting for a response and the investigation requested by the family, will determine whether of not it was these factors which contributed to the delay.

“We would like to thank the community first responder who was on scene first for their assistance. CFRs are volunteers who give up their time to respond to emergencies in their local area and often are able to start treatment before an ambulance arrives."

A spokesman for TfGM said: “We are sorry to hear about this incident and wish the lady a full and fast recovery.

“The shelter is owned by a third party and we have asked them to investigate and repair the light, if necessary, as a matter of urgency.

“We will also seek to investigate this matter further with the council, who are responsible for street lighting more generally in the area.”