A 90-year-old woman, who laid in freezing temperatures for five hours after breaking her thigh, was forced to wait 90-minutes for an ambulance.

Firefighters who were passing the home where stricken Irene Goodwin was laying in the snow, even arrived before ambulance crews and eventually carried the pensioner for the young female paramedics.

Her angry family hit out at the “disgusting” service she was given by the East of England Ambulance Service.

Her son Barry, 70, of Hawksberry Road, Canvey said: “It’s disgusting the way my mum had been treated.

Mrs Goodwin had been alone at her daughter Kim Townsend’s home in St Christopher’s Close, Canvey when she slipped over on the outside decking area at around 12pm last Monday.

The 90-year-old of Western Esplanade, Canvey broke her thigh bone and was left laying in the snow in sub-zero temperatures unable to call for help.

She lay there for five hours until she was eventually discovered by her daughter who returned home at 5pm.

By then, after suffering shock from her injury and due to the cold, Mrs Goodwin was also suffering from the potentially fatal condition hypothermia and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

After around 45-minutes a rapid responder - which is a single paramedic who uses an ambulance car and is unable to transport patients - arrived, but Mr Goodwin said they claimed to be unable to offer Mrs Goodwin pain relief or a splint for her injured leg.

Several frantic phone calls later, the family managed to summon fire crews from Canvey who were passing and stopped to help, carrying Mrs Goodwin in from the snow.

But it was not until 90-minutes after the first call that an ambulance finally arrived.

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service insisted the first paramedic arrived within 30-minutes of the call with an ambulance crew arriving within just under an hour. He insisted the service is working to improve response times.