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Watford FC offers stadium to next-door hospital

Watford Football Club has offered its Vicarage Road Stadium to the NHS to help it cope during the coronavirus crisis.

With easy access straight into the hospital site from Vicarage Road Stadium’s Graham Taylor Stand, senior NHS staff are currently co-ordinating their exact requirements – with Watford FC standing ready to act accordingly.

The Hornets are preparing to host NHS staff induction courses, urgent meeting spaces, warehousing needs, childcare facilities and more as the coronavirus outbreak puts further strain on all those working within the healthcare industry.

Hornets’ chairman & CEO Scott Duxbury said:

We need to forget football right now and concentrate on doing all we can to support the NHS and, in particular, Watford General Hospital. Our proximity as a football club next door to a hospital puts us in a great position to offer help and we’re keen to do whatever we possibly can to support NHS staff and their families.

Christine Allen, Chief Executive of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

Right now, we are doing all we can to make sure we can focus on caring for our sickest patients. We have found ourselves needing extra space very quickly. For example, we are running refresher training to our clinical staff so that they can care for patients with breathing difficulties.

And we also need more space so that we can stick to important guidance about social distancing for our staff induction sessions and for key meetings when we need our senior leadership teams around the table.

The club’s support is helping us to run our organisation safely and we are very grateful for their support at this challenging time.

Duxbury added:

The UK Government’s message has been about doing ‘whatever it takes’. Likewise, we’ll do ‘whatever it takes’ here at Vicarage Road to offer our fullest support to the NHS and its people at a time when it’s clearly needed most.

@PanStadiaArena