UK & World News
Royal Gwent Hospital: Travellers Camp In Car Park
Hundreds of NHS workers, including doctors and emergency staff, have been blocked from parking at a hospital after French travellers set up camp in the staff car park.
Around 14 caravans arrived outside Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, south Wales, on Saturday.
A statement from Aneurin Bevan Health Board said parts of the car park would be closed for three days as talks between council bosses and travellers continued.
"We will ensure that security is available on site from 6am to 10pm every day to reassure and support staff during this situation," it said.
"I am sure you will appreciate there was nothing that we could do to stop this happening, but 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."
Terry Jones, 64, who was visiting a relative in hospital, told the BBC: "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."
More than 3,400 staff work at the hospital, which has approximately 774 beds and serves a population of more than 600,000.
The staff car park has 300 spaces, and the travellers have taken over 65 of them, the hospital said.
A hospital worker, who did not want to be named, said: "Finding a parking space is bad enough normally without this happening first thing.
"I find it infuriating this situation can be allowed to continue until the families decide to move themselves on.
"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."