Wales

Traveller camp blocks hospital emergency staff car park

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Media captionHealth officials believe the travellers are visiting Newport for a family funeral

Hundreds of NHS workers have been blocked from parking at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport after French travellers set up camp in the staff car park.

Surgeons, doctors and nurses were turned away after 14 caravans moved onto the 300-space area.

Hospital spokesman Julian Hayman said they were seeking legal advice in order to move the travellers on.

He added that hospital services had not been disrupted as a result.

But one hospital worker, who did not want to be named, said it was "infuriating".

"Finding a parking space is bad enough normally without this happening first thing," the worker said.

"I find it infuriating this situation can be allowed to continue until the families decide to move themselves on.

'Nuisance'

"There are doctors and other medical staff who work on emergency cases around the clock.

"They are being forced to park some distance away all because a group of French travellers fancied the spot to set up camp."

Image caption Hospital visitors said the travellers were 'a nuisance'

Terry Jones, 64, who was visiting a relative in hospital, said: "Someone could suffer because a doctor is late for their shift.

"It just shouldn't be allowed to happen.

"It may not be politically correct to say it but these people never seem to think about the impact it will have on the rest of us.

"I hope they realise what a nuisance they are causing to the staff and move on soon."

Mr Hayman said the travellers had taken approximately 65 spaces.

"We will ensure that security is available on site from 6am-10pm every day to reassure and support staff," he said.

"We are taking legal advice to resolve the situation as soon as possible - there is no quick legal solution but we are also working with the travellers to ensure they leave as soon as possible.

"There has been no disruption to hospital services and, in the main, staff have been very understanding and acted in a professional manner throughout the morning."

Another hospital spokesman, Jamie Marchant, told the BBC that they believed the travellers were visiting Newport for a family funeral and planned to leave in "a few days".