The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has said it was unable to respond to an incident involving a four-year-old boy "as quickly as it would have liked".
Jacob Burnside was injured after being hit by a car in Inverness.
SAS received a call at 19:47 on Tuesday but was unable to get the nearest available ambulance to the scene until 21 minutes later at 20:08.
Local crews were attending to patients with "immediately life-threatening conditions", the service said.
Jacob was taken to Inverness' Raigmore Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries following the incident in Springfield Gardens.
A 33-year-old man has appeared in private at Inverness Sheriff Court accused of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report it.
John Macdonald, of Inverness, made no plea, was committed for further examination and released on bail.
'Unable to respond'
SAS said its staff had sought to monitor Jacob's situation while arranging an ambulance to respond.
A spokesman said: "We received a call at 19:47 on Tuesday to attend an incident on Springfield Gardens in Inverness.
"At the time of this call, our local crews were attending to patients with immediately life-threatening conditions which meant we were unable to respond as quickly as we would have liked.
"One of our clinical advisors attempted to contact the 999 caller to ensure there had been no change in the patient's condition.
"We dispatched the nearest available ambulance which arrived on scene at 20:08 hours."
He added: "We encourage all patients who are dissatisfied with the service they have received to contact our patient experience team to enable us to explain the circumstances around the delay and see if any lessons can be learned."