Patients at Watford General are to be housed in temporary cabins as the hospital struggles to cope with rising admissions.

The revelation came as a senior member of the hospital’s trust made the case for the Health Campus development, which promises to redevelop Watford General, last night.

Kyle McClelland, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s associate director, said the hospital was resorting to the drastic measure as it was struggling to cope with the number of patients it is currently receiving.

He said: "When the ambulance turns up, we have to provide that care. The capacity is not in the hospital and we are working our socks off to provide it."

Mr McClelland’s comments were made at a meeting at the Vicarage Road stadium to discuss the Farm Terrace Allotments, which may need to be built on as part of the Health Campus development.

The allotments were preserved in the original plans for the £1bn development, which will see around 600 new homes built on the land behind Watford FC and the hospital as well as business and leisure outlets.

However last month, allotment holders were told the land could now be needed in the development.

Watford Borough Council is currently looking at two different sets of designs from private developers for the project and is set to choose which will get the contract in the next few months.

News that the allotments could be swallowed up in Health Campus has provoked an angry response from plot-holders, who voiced their discontent at last night’s meeting.

Mr McClelland addressed the crowd of about 100 about why the project was vital to the future of Watford General.

He said without the new buildings and facilities, the hospital would find it increasingly difficult to hold on to staff and its quality of care would suffer.

"It is difficult enough to recruit and retain quality staff as it is," said Mr McClelland.

"Without the health campus we will be in a world of mess, we will fail to recruit new staff and fail to recruit quality staff. Staff can move into London and attract premium salaries," he claimed.