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Man told to wait 16 hours for ambulance despite fears for friend's life

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A man who called 999 concerned for a suicidal friend was told he had to wait for an ambulance for 16 hours.

Neil Vincent, from Norwich, criticised the response time from the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) after receiving a concerning message from a friend on Sunday afternoon.

An EEAST spokesman said it took all calls relating to mental health distress seriously and had experienced very high demand for serious calls that day.

Mr Vincent said he called at 1.51pm on Sunday and after 10 minutes on hold was told an ambulance had been dispatched.

In a follow up call more than three hours after arriving to calm his distressed friend, who was covered in cuts and bruises, ambulance staff said delays were up to 16 hours.

The 43-year-old said: "They didn't know I live within 20 minutes of him, he could have gone through with it.

“I talked to him and calmed him down, and got him to bed whilst I sit there waiting for the ambulance.........

© Eastern Daily Press

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