A 95-YEAR-old man was left crying in pain as he waited six and a half hours for an ambulance to arrive after he fell and broke his hip.

Robert Craig, of South Bank, Middlesbrough, fell at his flat with an "almighty bang" at about 5.30pm on Monday, which alerted his downstairs neighbours – who found him after hearing him calling: “Help, somebody help.”

He was lying on the lino bathroom floor and they immediately dialled 999.

Despite repeated calls to the ambulance service over the next few hours by his concerned neighbours and his son, paramedics did not arrive until midnight.

Mr Craig, a former baker, is now in hospital and is undergoing surgery on his hip, although he is in fragile health with heart failure.

His son, Nigel Craig, who was at work on a busy dialysis ward when he received the call about his father, rushed to reach his side as soon as his shift finished at 11pm. The neighbour stayed with Mr Craig the whole time and tried to make him comfortable.

The younger Mr Craig, who took a distressing video of his elderly father crying with pain, said: “This is how my poor dad had to spend six and a half hours on a hard floor.

“That’s how long it took for an ambulance. He’s 95 and had to suffer that long.

“I felt so helpless seeing him like that and it was pitiful to hear my dad shouting in agony and begging for the ambulance to show up.

“I called the ambulance again when I got there and notified them that he suffers from a failing heart so they upgraded the call slightly and said they’d be there in 20 minutes.

“But 20 minutes came and went. Then I noticed blood on the toilet seat – it must have been where he had fallen. When I called again and said he was bleeding they upgraded it to a priority and they finally arrived.”

Mr Craig said the paramedics gave his father excellent care once they arrived, giving him morphine and managing to get him into a wheelchair as a stretcher wouldn’t fit in the lift.

He said: “It wasn’t their fault, they were very good. But something has gone wrong in prioritising the calls when they leave someone of his age lying on the floor for that long in agony.”

The North-East Ambulance Service was contacted for a comment.