A despairing daughter has hit out at a phone company for leaving her poorly mum without a "lifeline" for three weeks.

Anne Ballard's mum, who does not wish to be named, lost her phone connection when a car hit a telegraph pole near to where she lives in Witham Road, Wickham Bishops, on June 29.

Mrs Ballard's mum, who is 79, relies on a heart monitor connected to the phone that teams at Broomfield Hospital can read remotely.

Teams from BT Openreach finally started work on the pole on Monday, July 21.

A spokesman for BT said: “We apologise to those customers affected. Openreach engineers are working as fast as they can to restore service as soon as possible.”

An Essex Highways spokesman said they received a request from BT on July 9 to carry out repairs from July 16 – 18, there was already a notice in place for a different utility company.

He said: “BT had the option to choose any available date before July 16 but, when they reapplied for a notice, they opted for July 21.”