PATIENTS from Redditch and Bromsgrove have been transferred from Worcester to Warwick, due to bed shortages.

Campaigners warned that moving patients from Worcestershire Royal Hospital to Warwick Hospital could make them feel isolated.

However, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said the measure was intended to make sure patients remained safe, during a time of 'exceptionally high' demands.

Anne Mace, a member of the Independent Community and Health Concern party, which campaigned against cuts at Kidderminster Hospital, said: "They haven't got enough beds at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, that's been known for many years.

"It was, in my opinion, never big enough when it was built. If patients are taken to Warwick, how are their visitors, particularly elderly spouses, going to get there?

"These are elderly vulnerable patients and they need to be kept within their community, with their friends and relatives.

"It can be an extremely lonely experience if you are in a hospital bed without any visitors. It's not the way to treat patients."

Ms Mace said that instead of using Warwick the trust could create extra beds within the county by reopening wards at Kidderminster Hospital.

A spokesman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “A small number of patients from Worcestershire Royal Hospital have been transferred to Warwick Hospital for the continuation of their hospital care.

“This is a planned move which shows how NHS organisations are supporting each other over a busy winter period to ensure patient safety is put first.

“Demand on our hospitals continues to be exceptionally high and staff across our trust are working hard to provide the safest care they can for patients in the face of continuing pressures on beds.”

The spokesman said they understand that a transfer to another hospital can cause anxiety and inconvenience.

However, they added that the trust’s priority is to ensure patients receive safe, high quality care in the safest, most appropriate environment.

The spokesman added: “We would like to reassure patients that we continue to work closely with our partners across the health and care system to manage winter pressures.

"Additional capacity at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch will be in place in the coming days and weeks.

“The first of this additional capacity is now in use at Worcester after the opening of a new 28-bed ward on January 16.”