Premier League football club Watford have offered the use of their Vicarage Road stadium to help the NHS in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The ground is next to Watford General Hospital and chairman Scott Duxbury said the club would do “whatever it takes” to support the health service.
The ground had been due to host events such as induction courses and meetings.
A West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) spokeswoman said it was “very grateful for their support”.
The club said there was easy access straight into the hospital site from the stadium’s Graham Taylor Stand and it was “ready to act accordingly” when senior NHS staff had co-ordinated the trust’s exact requirements.
These could include NHS staff courses, urgent meeting spaces, warehousing needs and childcare facilities.
Mr 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.
“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.”
WHHT chief executive, Christine Allen, said the trust had found itself “needing extra space very quickly” for things like running refresher training for clinical staff so they could care for patients with breathing difficulties.
“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,” 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.”