Travellers accused of causing ‘chaos’ and ‘abusing’ staff in west London hospital car park

·2-min read
Hammersmith Hospital (Getty)
Hammersmith Hospital (Getty)

Travellers who set up camp on the grounds of a hospital in west London have been accused of abusing staff and vandalising cars on site.

A convoy of around 20 vehicles - including caravans and 4x4s - flocked to the site at Hammersmith Hospital last Monday.

But the travellers caused “chaos” after allegedly intimidating doctors and driving their vehicles “dangerously” in the staff car park.

A consultant who works at the hospital told The Times: “They set up camp in our staff car park and made this section unusable. It was chaos for staff trying to park. They vandalised cars, verbally abused staff and left rubbish everywhere.

“It was intimidating for staff and it was all happening adjacent to the patient car park.”

Hammersmith and Fulham council successfully applied for a warrant to remove the travellers from the area under the Criminal and Public Order Act.

Officers examining CCTV footage reported “serious disorder”, vandalism, theft and intimidation of staff.

Specialist vehicles were brought in to clear the site after a damaged caravan was left abandoned along with food containers, broken glass, crushed cans and a sofa cushion.

Andrew Murray, head of facilities at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We received reports of a local traveller community at the back of the North car park at Hammersmith Hospital on Monday morning.

“We were in discussions with the group throughout the week and, following conversations with the local authority and police, they were issued with a 24-hour notice to leave.

“The car park was vacated on Thursday and the area was cleared up on Friday, including removal of the damaged caravan that was left behind. The car park was returned to full use by Friday lunchtime.

“We apologise to any staff and patients who were impacted by this and are working with the local authority to try prevent a similar situation happening in the future. This includes plans to install additional barriers and extending our CCTV so we can improve our monitoring of the space. We’re grateful to everyone who helped us resolve this situation.”