A hospital in Cornwall has urged people not to show up at its emergency department unless their conditions are serious.

Staff at the emergency department at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro say it is 'the busiest it's ever been' and are advising locals that, unless it is a genuine emergency, to please call their own GP or 111 first in order for them to be directed to the most appropriate place for care.

RCHT Medical Director, Dr Allister Grant said: "We need to be able to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening illness and injury.

"It’s like New Year every day.

"We’re the busiest we have ever been and people with emergencies like heart attacks, stroke and serious trauma are the ones who need the specialist care of an emergency department.

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"Unfortunately, we’re still seeing a significant number of people turning up with less urgent conditions and in some cases they’re telling us they have been sent by their GP or the 111 service, when we can see from our records they haven’t made contact with them first.

"We really need people to make that call before they set out.

"They will be able to speak to an experienced clinician or GP if they need one, and importantly, they’ll be directed to the most appropriate place for their care.

"You can call your own GP even if you are here on holiday and a pharmacist can give advice on minor ailments such as coughs and colds, sore throats, conjunctivitis, and nappy rash.

"Please help us, help you and keep the emergency department for real emergencies."