Watford FC has continued its support for the NHS by using as much space inside its stadium as possible to help staff at Watford General Hospital.

Most of the country’s football clubs have shut up shop because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Hornets has opened its doors to help staff at the hospital next door.

Space at Vicarage Road has been set aside for bedrooms, training areas for young nurses and counselling rooms as Watford hospital staff continue their battle against Covid-19.

Currently six bedrooms are on offer in the executive boxes at the ground, but that will be raised to ten soon, with beds being supplied by the Grove hotel.

Additionally, other boxes are being turned into counselling rooms.

Meanwhile, one of the club's television studios has been converted into a training centre for young nurses, meaning that staff can be trained away from the hospital, while a call centre will be set up in the media suite at the other end of the ground.

As of next week both the sky lounge and sensory room will be used to take pressure off maternity units at the hospital, while the gallery lounge is being used as a space for NHS staff to relax.

Meeting rooms have also been set up in supporter's bars to allow the use of maximum space inside the ground, so that more room can be used to treat patients elsewhere.

The new space has been dubbed as 'TeamWestHerts Sanctuary' by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Watford General Hospital.

Watford FC is also footing the bill for a feeding area for NHS staff to get breakfast and lunch, with an estimated 500 people per day currently eating both meals at the ground.

Speaking in a press conference earlier today, Watford FC chairman Scott Duxbury said it was “entirely the club’s privilege” to help the hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the staff at this football club,” Mr Duxbury said.

“I really do need to pay credit to staff for working here everyday because it is them who came to me insisting that we do something and its them that said they would volunteer every single day.

“I think when you have that kind of mentality that people just want to help and make a difference it is really quite humbling.

“I just feel truly privileged to help and assist the hospital and it’s a real demonstration of the quality of staff that we have at this football club.

“I couldn’t be prouder as the chairman of this football club as I am today.”

Christine Allen, chief executive at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, added that the response from Watford FC has been “remarkable”.

She said: “When staff come to the club they feel cared for and that’s really special for them.

“Our staff need the chance to smile, to laugh and to relax and coming to the club gives them the opportunity to do that.

"We have to look after our staff so that they can look after our patients, which is why having such a wonderful facility at such a difficult time is really so important."