An 81-year-old woman who suffered a fall had to take a taxi to hospital after waiting three hours for an ambulance.

Craig Phillips, president of Romsey Royal British Legion, said the woman had fallen outside the clubhouse on Love Lane at around 4.45pm on Monday, September 25.

She was helped by club members who called for an ambulance. They were told that there would be a three-hour wait.

Mr Phillips, of Greenwood Close, said the woman was still waiting for an ambulance when he arrived at the club at 7.30pm. When he called emergency services to see when the ambulance would arrive, he was told there would be a further eight-hour wait.

Eventually, a taxi was called to take the woman to hospital instead.

READ MORE: Pensioner waits three hours for ambulance after slipping on banana in Asda

Mr Phillips said: “I have done ambulance work in the past and there is no way I would have allowed something like this to happen to my mother or father. What is the government going to do about it?

“It makes me cross when I see older people being treated this way.”

A spokesperson for South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) said: “Based on the information provided, this call was triaged as requiring a category three response which we aim to provide within two hours of the call.

"Unfortunately, meeting this target is not always possible at times of high demand, when there are patients in the local area with more serious emergencies who have to be prioritised, or when ambulance crews are delayed handing over patients to hospitals.

“In this instance, at the time the call was received, there were nine patients in the local area already triaged as requiring a category two response who we needed to get to first.

“Further calls to our clinical co-ordination centre regarding this patient confirmed that she had been helped up from the floor after her fall, was suffering from rib and knee pain and her condition was not worsening whilst awaiting an ambulance.

"We later received a call cancelling the ambulance as the patient was going to go to hospital by taxi.

“We would always encourage patients with minor injuries or illnesses who are able to make their own way to a hospital or urgent treatment centre to do so. Arriving by ambulance to hospital does not mean you will be seen more quickly by A&E staff if you do not have a serious illness or injury.”