Watford offer NHS use of Vicarage Road
Watford have offered the use of their Vicarage Road stadium to the nearby hospital as the NHS continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hornets’ home is in close proximity to Watford General Hospital and, with football postponed until April 30 at the earliest, the Premier League club are set to open up the ground for a range of NHS purposes.
With Watford’s players following their own personal training programmes from home, there is plenty of space at Vicarage Road that can be utilised.
“We need to forget football right now and concentrate on doing all we can to support the NHS and, in particular, Watford General Hospital,” Watford chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury said in a joint statement announcing the move.
“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.”
Vicarage Road is now set to host NHS staff inductions, offer spaces for urgent meetings, childcare facilities and warehouse space.
“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,” Duxbury added.
“We have sent heart-rate bands to their houses and when they work out, they have to wear the heart-rate band and then we can ensure they are working properly and they upload the session to the App.”
Check out how the squad are keeping fit during #CoronavirusLockdown 👇
— Watford Football Club #StayHomeSaveLives (@WatfordFC) March 25, 2020
The gesture has been acknowledged by the hospital, with Christine Allen – the chief executive of West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust praising Watford for their support.
“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,” she said.
“The club’s support is helping us to run our organisation safely and we are very grateful for their support at this challenging time.”