Ambulances were forced to queue along Welford Road to get into Leicester Royal Infirmary last night because demand for care was so high.
The extent of the problem can be seen in a picture taken by an ambulance worker, showing a line of ambulances queuing along the road towards Leicester Tigers’ ground.
According to the man, who wished to remain anonymous, there was no room in ambulance bays outside the hospital.
He posted the picture on Facebook, accompanied with an emotional message imploring people to follow the coronavirus guidelines.
The post read: “In my eight-year career with the ambulance service, this is the first time we have had to queue in the road to get into the LRI.
“This was last night, no room to get into the ambulance bays so we were parking along Welford Road towards the Tigers ground.”
He then addressed people who claim the pandemic is a fabrication, and that this kind of situation is normal for this time of year.
“People say it’s a hoax and it’s normal winter pressure.
“It’s no hoax.
“Yes, this time of year we get winter pressure, but what Covid is doing is adding to this.
“Why should you worry?
“There is not an endless supply of ambulances. When, like last night, the majority of crews on duty are at one hospital, ask yourself this.
“If you or a loved one suffer a heart attack, stroke, bad car accident, will we be able to get to you, and if we can, how long will you wait?
“Add to this the hospitals are full, ITU beds are at maximum, you may be taken to another hospital out of area for treatment.”
The man appealed to people to follow the Government guidelines, and to only ring 999 or 111 in an emergency.
He added: “Please take Covid seriously, follow the guidelines and help reduce the pressure on the NHS.
“And please, for the love of God, only ring 999 or 111 if you really need to.
“Don’t ring to just have your temperature taken as you feel warm, or because you have no paracetamol for your aches and pains (these are genuine calls I have been to), as this adds pressure on the service.
“The LRI is working flat out trying to see every patient, and the staff both at the hospital and on the road are working tirelessly to do all they can.”
Leicester’s hospitals also made a similar plea.
A spokesperson for Leicester’s hospitals said: “Winter is a challenging time for hospitals but this year more than ever, as we deal with the added complexities and pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Last night, we saw a high number of ambulance attendances which impacted how quickly we could accept patients into our emergency department.
“Our teams are working extremely hard to see and treat patients as quickly and safely as possible.
“Please remember, if you need medical advice and it’s not life-threatening we urge people to call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk.”