A PENSIONER was left on the pavement bleeding from a head wound for more than three hours before an ambulance arrived.

Residents rushed to the aid of the man, believed to be in his late eighties, after he fell over in Beatty Avenue, Coldean, Brighton, at about 5.30pm on Monday.

The concerned group called an ambulance for the pensioner, who is thought to have broken his nose, injured his pelvis and cut his face and head.

They were told he was “not a priority” and would have to wait.

They wrapped him up in a blanket to keep him warm and put a pillow under his head.

Despite repeated calls, an ambulance did not arrive until 8.45pm, meaning the elderly man was bleeding on the pavement for more than three hours.

Resident Oliver Mills, 36, who saw what happened with his friend, Tony Ganea, 70, said the response was “a disgrace”.

He said: “I think it’s terrible to see something like this, you wouldn’t leave an animal like it.

“His nose was in a very bad condition, it was bloodied and folded across his face.

“He was in a very bad condition. It must have been very uncomfortable.

“People bought out a duvet for him as he was obviously freezing.

“We were engaging with him to keep him awake as he could have had a concussion.

“It’s a disgrace that old people can be treated like that and they say he’s not a priority.”

When residents rang the South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb), the incident was assigned as a “category 3” call.

This means it was deemed an “urgent call” and an ambulance should normally respond within two hours.

Category 2 incidents are “emergency calls” such as stroke patients and an ambulance will take 18 minutes to respond on average.

Category 1 incidents are calls to people with “immediate life-threatening and time-critical injuries and illnesses” and the ambulance service will take seven minutes to respond on average.

A Secamb spokesman said: ““We take all concerns raised seriously and we are very sorry when it takes us longer than we would like to reach any patient.

“We were very busy across our whole region including the Brighton area on Monday evening.

“Staff in our emergency operations centres and ambulance crews out on the road were working hard to respond to patients as quickly as possible while we prioritised our response to patients in an immediately life-threatening condition.

“Based on information provided, the call was triaged as a category 3 call to which we would normally aim to respond to within two hours.

“We appreciate that this patient would have been extremely uncomfortable and was outside and we do what we can to speed up our response to such calls.

“The operational priority of the call was later upgraded to expediate our response with an ambulance arriving at the scene at 8.45pm.

“We wish the patient a good recovery and we would also like to thank everyone who came to his assistance prior to our arrival.

“We would invite anyone with any concerns to contact us directly so we can look into them in detail.”