NHS left with clean-up bill after Travellers occupied Hammersmith Hospital’s car park

Image above: Hammersmith Hospital

NHS staff intimidated and vehicles vandalised

A group of approximately 50 travellers, who occupied the car park at Hammersmith Hospital on Monday 1 May, have been accused of intimidating NHS staff members and leaving behind a trail of debris in their wake after they were moved on.

Imperial College Healthcare Trust, which oversees Hammersmith Hospital, now faces a substantial bill to cover the cleanup expenses, which included the removal of an abandoned caravan dumped on their premises.

Ordinarily used by hospital staff, the car park on the north side of the facility was rendered inaccessible due to the presence of around 20 cars and caravans. The Times reported allegations by a hospital consultant that staff members were subjected to verbal abuse, while their vehicles were deliberately keyed and damaged. Some members of  staff claimed the group drove recklessly around the car park, endangering others.

After recieving an order to vacate the premises under the Criminal and Public Order Act, the travellers left the hospital on Thursday (4 May). They claimed to have been there to attend a wedding. But Hammersmith and Fulham Council obtained compelling evidence from CCTV cameras, which captured acts of vandalism, theft, intimidation directed at NHS workers, and instances of “serious disorder.”

This is the fourth time that a group of travellers have taken up occupation in the hospital’s car parks and management says it has plans to install height restrictions in an attempt to stop them returning.

After the group’s departure, the car park underwent a thorough clearance and was reopened for use by hospital staff on Friday. Measures are being taken to restore normalcy to the area and address any lingering concerns related to security and parking.

Andrew Murray, the NHS trust’s head of facilities, said:

“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.”