TEN beds have been temporarily closed at South Molton Hospital until further notice.
The Journal was contacted by a member of nursing staff to say the beds had been closed at the hospital.
They said a number of staff were being transferred to other locations, including Torrington Cottage Hospital.
However ten beds are also closed there and are due to open in October when an eight week consultation will begin to decide whether to close them permanently.
Caroline Dawe, managing director of the Northern Locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We have listened to the local community in Torrington and have asked Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust to open the beds at Torrington Hospital before we begin an eight week public involvement process.
"This will begin in early October when we will talk to local people about future health services at the hospital and in the community.
"We understand NDHT currently has operational staffing shortages and has taken the decision to temporarily close 10 beds at South Molton Hospital for a few weeks.
"The Trust has assured us that patients will not be affected with those requiring admission to a community hospital being admitted to a nearby hospital."
Northern Devon Healthcare Trust confirmed the bed closures have been made due to a number of unfilled vacancies and staff shortages.
They say recruitment is under way but there are insufficient staff in community hiospitals to maintain safe and high quality service.
All outpatient clinics at South Molton will continue as normal.
Four members of staff will be displaced by bed closures and will take up posts in Torrington.
Kate Lyons, the Trust’s director of operations, said: “We apologise for any disruption the temporary closure may cause. We thank the staff at South Molton for their flexibility supporting Torrington at this time.
“Decisions such as this are not taken lightly – and the safety of our patients is our number one priority. We have every confidence that this will be a very short reduction in beds and my teams are working very hard to ensure the beds reopen as quickly as possible.”
The Trust also said the majority of patients in South Molton are cared for by community nursing and therapy teams, allowing them to live in their own homes.
David Worden, district councillor for South Molton, said: "The residents of South Molton are concerned that the planned reduction of ten beds in South Molton hospital does not become something that continues for very long.
"If it is only for a short time because of staff shortages and really is temporary then we will have to live with it.
"It can become very difficult for patients who long to have visitors and relatives and friends if they have to travel long distances to see their loved ones and so hopefully the situation will revert to normal very quickly."