A passer-by who went to the aid of a 90-year-old man who collapsed in a seaside town has spoken of her concern that he was not prioritised by the ambulance service, which warned of eight hour delays.

Devi Singh, who lives in Aldeburgh, went to help the man when he fell while pushing a trolley full of shopping in Mariners Way, Aldeburgh shortly before 6pm on Saturday.

She was on her way to a party and described seeing him clutching a fence and unsteady on his feet, so she went over to see if he was okay.

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At this point, he clutched his chest and said he was out of breath before falling to his knees then backwards onto the pavement, hitting the back of his head causing blood loss.

He also suffered scratch injuries to his knees.

However, when two teenage helpers rang the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), they were told there could be delays of eight hours.

An ambulance eventually arrived at the scene, close to the Tesco Express, 45 minutes after the call had been made, but found that the casualty had gone after receiving help from Devi, the teenagers and volunteers from Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR).

East Anglian Daily Times: Mariners Way in Aldeburgh, where the man fellMariners Way in Aldeburgh, where the man fell (Image: Google Maps)

Devi said a SULSAR volunteer she knew as Pamela was the first to stop, before calling for support from two other volunteers and they lifted the man to his feet.

Although she understood that ambulances could 'take a while' to get to incidents, she believed that paramedics could have attended the scene.

She was particularly concerned that there could have been other medical complications taking place, especially as he had initially clutched his chest.

"They obviously deemed it as not important. Having said that, anything else medical could have been going on with him and I think he should have been checked over by paramedics regardless," she added.

An EEAST spokesperson said: "We received a call at 5.47pm on September 9, with reports that a person had fallen in Mariners Way, Aldeburgh, and had sustained a head and knee injury.

"We gave advice on how to protect the patient from the heat and advised there could be delays of up to eight hours.

"An ambulance was dispatched at 6.35pm, however when crews arrived on scene the patient was not there. 

"The patient had made his own way home with a cut to the head and knees. Our crews dressed these wounds and phoned a GP."