A 91-YEAR-OLD woman lay in excruciating pain for nearly two hours while he was told ambulances were being diverted to more urgent calls, her son claims.

Now John Bates, 62, said his mother Ivy Bates, 91, who had broken her hip in the fall last Monday, and suffers from acute osteoporosis, was “crying in agony”.

On admission to North Middlesex Hospital Mrs Bates was diagnosed with a broken hip, a heart murmur and a chest infection. She underwent an operation on her hip on Tuesday October 13 and is now recovering in hospital.

Mr Bates a retired heating engineer of Green Street, Enfield, has now made a formal complaint.

He said he first called an ambulance at 2.05pm, then again at 2.50pm, at 3.20pm. An ambulance finally arrived at 3.50pm, and hour and three quarters after Mrs Bates’ accident.

He said: “No-one from ambulance control had bothered to telephone to enquire about my mother’s state of health or to notify us of any delay. When I rang they said we have had to divert [the ambulance] to a more important call but another one will be sent out. When I rang again they said ‘We will get an ambulance to you but we can’t give you a time.’”

He added: “My mother was still in excruciating pain, was still very upset and had received no form off pain relief whatsoever.”

This case comes weeks after paramedic Patrick Rodgers lost his license after being found guilty of wasting crucial minutes in arriving to treat a 90-year-old woman who died before he arrived.

Mr Bates said: “The ambulance service have either seriously mismanaged the problem or they failed to provide an adequate emergency service. I told them she couldn’t move and she was 91 with acute osteoporosis and in excruciating pain. They should have sent someone out even if it was just a paramedic. I am disgusted.”

He said his mother, who lives at Hester Road, Edmonton, just over a quarter of a mile from North Middlesex Hospital, has never had such a major fall before.

A spokesman for the London Ambulance Service said: ““We can confirm that we received the emergency call at 2.05pm on 12 October.

“From the information received, it was established that the patient was conscious and breathing and not in a life-threatening condition.

“At 2.10pm one of our Clinical Telephone Advisers called the patient’s family back to make a more in-depth assessment, and as a result deemed that an ambulance was required.

“The patient’s family called back at 2.51pm as we were not able to send an ambulance straight away. During this conversation the call taker assessed that the patient’s condition had not deteriorated.

“At 3.24pm the patient’s family called back again and our call taker was able to advise that an ambulance was on the way. An ambulance arrived at the address at 3.47pm.

“We are very sorry for any distress caused to the patient or her family. We have been in contact with the patient’s family and we will be providing them with a full account of what happened.”

Retired paramedic John Jewson said: “If you say the key words when you call 999 you go to the top of the tree. I have been to a couple of calls which don’t seem urgent from the description the person gave but the case has been even worse than some red calls [the classification for the most serious incidents] “A broken hip can be quite serious. Two hours is an awfully long time, it is exceptional, the ambulance service seem to get to most cases in about ¾ of an hour. If this is happening now it is going to get worse when Chase Farm A&E closes if there is no substantial increase in the number of ambulances.”