A ward at Kettering General Hospital is to close in June because of new arrangements in the way medical patients are looked after.
The closure is thought to affect either Deene A or Deene C ward and staff were given letters on Monday inviting them to a meeting on Tuesday evening to discuss the plans.
The hospital says the closure can be made because the number of medical patients who have to be looked after on surgical wards has been reduced.
Chief operating officer Alan Gurney said: “The trust is currently assessing its bed capacity as a result of series of improvements it has made to emergency care arrangements.
“These improvements – such as our new ambulatory care unit and observation ward – have helped the hospital to reduce the number of medical patients who have to be looked after on surgical wards because of bed shortages.
These patients are known as medical outliers.
“Our success in making our emergency care system more efficient has improved the flow of patients through the hospital and we have moved from having 30 to 40 medical outlier patients per day to 10 to 15.
“Therefore we plan to close some 18-20 surgical beds by June and are also exploring the possibility of being able to close some medical beds.
“Overall the aim is ensure patients do not stay in beds longer than they need to and to make the hospital as efficient as possible.”
At a meeting of the board of directors on March 28, a number of cost savings under consideration were highlighted.
Among these was the closure of an 18-bed ward, which would save about £833,000.
The item was among dozens more which represented about £17m of savings and revenue generation.