There is uncertainty over whether beds which have been closed at Whitby Hospital because staff are on holiday will re-open.
On Friday a sudden decision was made to restrict the maximum intake at the war memorial ward to 30 instead of the usual 35.
It was made by the York NHS Trust who said it was because of staff sickness and holidays and that the bed situation was “under review”.
Local health providers and councillors have expressed concern about the closure and potential long term effect on healthcare in Whitby, given the recent closure of the eye clinic too.
Cllr Alf Abbott said the Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG, which arranges medical care and treatment in the town, were being short-changed.
He told the Gazette: “The closing of five beds straight after the moving of the eye clinic starts to make you think .
“The York Trust has been given an extended contract for another year to supply the CCG with the services they have paid for and they are breaking it within weeks .
“The CCG, hopefully, will not pay the Trust for breaking the contract and also the Trust should be doing its utmost to honour the contract by fetching in staff from elsewhere.
Local GP, Dr George Campbell, vice chair of the CCG said he wanted assurances the beds would be re-opened.
He said: “Patient safety has to be the number one priority, and the steps taken by the Trust in light of this are understandable, we are seeking assurance that the necessary action is being taken to put in place additional staffing to support the reopening of the beds as soon as possible.
“We appreciate the concern this may cause and would like to reassure people we are working closely with York Hospitals to promptly resolve the situation.”
Mike Proctor, Deputy Chief Executive for the York Trust added: “We have done everything we can to solve the problem, but have so far been unable to consistently fill the gaps. As a result, the decision was taken on safety grounds to temporarily restrict admissions to a maximum of 30 patients rather than the usual 35.
“Not all of the remaining 30 beds have been full, and we have had no patients waiting to transfer to Whitby Hospital. This decision was taken when all other options were exhausted and will be kept under review.”