CASH-STRAPPED bosses at Crosshouse Hospital are set to get rid of almost 90 beds in a bid to save money.

The Times can reveal that 89 beds will go over the coming months as they try to claw back savings - despite the hospital routinely missing national waiting time targets.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran chiefs refused to confirm exactly which wards would be affected, however sources tell the Times that at least five beds will go from the already under-pressure Accident and Emergency ward.

But health bosses say the decision to scrap beds comes as a result of "new care models" which will see "enhanced care and rehabilitation services based in the community".

The Times understands elderly and orthopaedic care - which is already stretched - will be among those wards and areas of care hit.

However Liz Moore, Director for Acute Services said the dwindling number of beds will happen over the coming months as the need for beds reduces.

She said: "NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Service Improvement Programme is working alongside our three local Health and Social Care Partnerships to develop and deliver new models of care and services to meet our population needs for the future.

"These will include enhanced care and rehabilitation services based in the community.

"The new service models will allow patients to be transferred or discharged from hospital more quickly to the most appropriate e environment for their needs. This will reduce the need for the additional beds which were created at University Hospital Crosshouse to accommodate patients who had finished their treatment but were unable to be discharged.

"As a result of these new models of care the additional beds will be reduced as patients will be discharged or transferred more quickly once their hospital treatment ends. These 89 beds will be reduced incrementally over the coming months.

"All staff who work in the affected wards will continue to be employees of NHS Ayrshire & Arran and will have opportunities to work in other areas of the organisation."