An 81-year-old woman was left lying on the pavement in agony from a broken hip for three hours before an ambulance arrived.
Mrs June O’Brien had to be cared for and covered with blankets by neighbours as she lay in the dark, wearing just her nightclothes, on the cold concrete.
East of England ambulance Service has now apologised for distress caused by the mammoth delay.
They blame a high volume of calls at the time of the incident on Monday evening.
Mrs O’Brien had tripped over her dog just outside her home in Grove Road, Turvey at around 8pm.
Neighbours immediately dialled 999 and informed her son Jon, who lives in London.
“I drove from West Hampstead on my motorbike, expecting that mum would be safely in hospital by the time I arrived. I was horrified to see her still laid out on the pavement in the dark,” said Jon.
As the hours ticked by more calls were made, and Jon admits he became irate and rude.
“At one point the 999 operator threatened to send a police car out to arrest me for being rude – yet my mum was still on the pavement,” he said.
Eventually at 10.30pm a paramedic arrived. He gave Mrs O’Brien oxygen to help with the pain and shock until an ambulance turned up half an hour later, at 11pm.
Jon said: “My mother simply did not deserve the indignity or the pain of being left on the ground in agony for all that time ”
Mrs O’Brien underwent hip surgery at Bedford hospital on Tuesday.
A spokesman for East of England ambulance told the T&C: “We were experiencing a high volume of calls across the region. Our crews work hard to ensure they can get back out into the community after treating their last patient, but an increase in patient numbers or helping more seriously ill people with more complex needs can obviously impact on that.
“We would always urge families to get in touch formally with the Trust so that their concerns can be raised and looked into for them.”