Great grandfather was left lying on Great Yarmouth driveway

AN 87-year-old great-grandfather was left lying on his Great Yarmouth driveway for over an hour in broad daylight before help arrived after he had a sudden fall.

Norman Payne, of Shakespeare Road, had been cleaning his car at 2pm one sunny Tuesday when he toppled over and could not get up again.

The second world war veteran, who served with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, said he called for help to a young couple with a child who were passing by, but they failed to respond.

And when he pressed a panic alarm around his neck which connects to Yare Care Alarms, he said it was an hour before anyone arrived because the carers initially tried to phone his neighbour, who was not in, before calling his daughter Carol Wilkinson, 59, who lives in Fritton.

Part of the problem, the former builder explained, was he was unable to speak to Yare Care over his intercom indoors because his front door was shut and they would not have been able to hear him from his drive.

However, the father-of-three could not understand why the carers, who could trace the alarm, did not summon the emergency services as they would have been able to get to him more quickly.

He added: “I was still lying there for over an hour. They did not know what had happened to me, did they? I think a paramedic should have been sent.”

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Yarmouth man Mr Payne, who grew up in The Rows and attended St George’s Infant School and Greenacre School, said he had used the panic alarm on one previous occasion when he felt unwell and Yare Care again sent his daughter to help him.

However, the pensioner, who worked for his father Robert’s firm R Payne Builders, said he had generally been in good health, except he suffered from diabetes and experienced the odd spell of dizziness and did not know what had caused his fall.

He now stays with his daughter in Fritton at night.

A borough council spokesman said the Yare Care Community Alarm service provided a simple way for the user to contact them and they would respond through the intercom in the user’s home.

He added: “If we do not get a response from the individual, we try their home phone, before contacting emergency keyholders that the alarm user nominates.

“Should we not be able to reach these contacts, we will either dispatch Norfolk Swift Response Team or make contact with the emergency services. In this instance, all within two minutes, we had tried the intercom, home phone, and made contact with a nominated keyholder – who said they would head to the address.”

He said it was down to the emergency services to decide on the priority of responding to an individual.