With the recent tourist boom in Cornwall, a staff member of the A&E department at the county's main hospital is complaining about people turning up for the most "ridiculous of reasons".
The anonymous employee, who works at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said that staff are left in tears almost on a daily basis thanks to "abusive" visitors.
They said people are showing up at the department for conditions as minor as a sore throat, reports CornwallLive.
One person even went to A&E while 18 ambulances queued outside because his ring was "too tight" on his finger.
The employee said: "People who are coming, believe it or not, are mostly holidaymakers at the moment and they are using our main hospital as a drop-off.
"I’ve had a grown man come in with a sore throat while ambulances are queuing outside. They are coming in and holding up a nurse, who has to triage them because they are duty-bound to do that when he was going home tomorrow anyway.
"It’s just absolutely ridiculous and they could go to their GP. Lots of them already know they are sick when they are travelling down and they still come."
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According to the staff member, patients are rude and abusive and leave nurses in tears.
"We have staff leaving because they just can’t cope anymore with the stress and it’s soul-destroying. I don’t want to stop doing this but I have had days where I have thought I might have to," they said.
"I’ve had another person come in recently with a stomach ache and it’s almost as if they have got nothing better to do and it is really frustrating."
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Meanwhile, patients suffering from potentially life-threatening symptoms are apologising to staff for "wasting their time".
The employee continued: "One man with actual chest pains didn’t want to call an ambulance or come in because he thought he was wasting our time.
"He should have called one really but he got himself up to hospital and it’s people like that that need our help.
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"They are the ones we should be looking after, not people who come in with really silly things wrong with them."
A statement provided by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust earlier this week said that the "exceptionally busy" emergency department and minor injury units have seen around 700 patients every day.
Recent times have seen repeated incidents of up to 15 or more ambulances queued up outside A&E at Treliske.
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A spokesperson said: "If you need help for something that isn’t life-threatening or serious, the first point of call should always be your own GP – even if you are here on holiday. When your surgery is closed and it really can't wait until the next day, call 111 or go online atwww.111.nhs.uk.
"Social distancing has significantly reduced the space and seating in our waiting rooms and people with minor injuries or illness may be asked to wait outside or in their cars.
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"Ambulances are waiting longer than we would like before we are able to admit patients into the main emergency department.
"We're urging everyone to help our staff concentrate on those in most urgent need of specialist care. If it's not a 999 emergency, you should always call 111 first, so we know you are coming and you can be directed to the quickest and most appropriate service. Please don't just turn up."
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