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An 83-year-old woman was left waiting for more than 30 minutes for an ambulance after falling outside a Romford supermarket last week.

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Passer-by Dawn Fairie, 45, of North Street, was forced to call for an ambulance three times before an emergency crew finally arrived at 11.11am in Market Place. The mother-of-four first called 999 at 10.41am.

Mrs Fairie said: “It seems ridiculous in the year 2013 that she had to wait so long to be taken to hospital.

“I felt I would have got a quicker response if I had called for an ambulance and said I had been stabbed. I was just really appalled.”

According to Mrs Fairie, the lady had fallen over in the street and had been unable to put her hands out to stop her fall.

While she waited with the injured lady outside Iceland, Mrs Fairie said she saw an ambulance on call drive passed the scene.

“She had a cut across her forehead and her glasses had smashed,” added the pet shop worker. “At 83 they are not spritely – it was cold on Tuesday.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said the ambulance’s response was “only just outside” of the 30 minute time allotted for a call that was “not categorised as a life-threatening.”

London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We can confirm we were called at 10.40am on December 3 to reports of an elderly lady who had fallen over.

“She was reported to be alert and breathing normally.”

“Two ambulance crews were dispatched at 10.41am and 10.55am but were both subsequently cancelled for what were assessed as being higher priority calls in the area.

“A further crew was sent at 10.59am and arrived on scene at 11.11am. The patient, who was 83-years-old, was treated for a cut and bruising to her head before being taken to Queen’s Hospital.

“We apologise for any distress that may have been caused.”

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