Health officials are investigating after nurses at a B.C. hospital allegedly refused to assist an 86-year-old patient who collapsed – and called 911 instead.

Stephen Braybrooke says his father Jim suddenly fell to the ground Thursday morning while they were riding an elevator to the sixth floor of Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock.

When the doors opened, Braybrooke called out to a nearby nursing station to help. The nurses' response left him flabbergasted.

"All the nurses were behind the station and none of them would come forward," he told CTV News. "They were like 10 feet, 12 feet away."

Braybrooke asked them to call a Code Blue, but says they refused. The head nurse then offered to call 911.

"I was stumped. Like, why aren't you already doing something?" he said. "So they called 911."

He says his father was on the floor for nine minutes before paramedics arrived.

The Fraser Health Authority says the nurses could have called a Code Blue, and is looking into why they didn't.

Spokesman David Plug said it's possible the nurses were using protocol from different health care settings, and added that a Code Blue might not have brought help for Braybrooke's father any faster.

"It's possible it would be faster than the paramedics arriving, but it does vary and there is no guarantee," Plug said.

He also says nurses did everything they could to monitor and comfort the patient – but that's not how Braybrooke remembers it.

"How anybody could stand aside at a distance, and some of them were as far away as 20 feet, and everybody gawking and nobody doing anything it was just deplorable," he said.

Braybrooke's father is in good spirits, and says he doesn't remember the incident.

Hospital management will also be looking into the incident, and says staff will be informed of Code Blue practices.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Nafeesa Karim