A PETITION launched to "keep Edington Cottage Hospital in North Berwick open" has gained close to 2,500 online signatures since it was launched on Sunday.

It was started by Sally McDonald and is titled ‘Do Not Close The Edington Cottage Hospital’.

The Edington's six inpatient beds - and the staff that accompany them - are to move to the East Lothian Community Hospital in Haddington on Monday (September 13).

The switch will initially be for three months and will be reviewed at the end of the 12 weeks.

It means no new patients will be admitted to the Edington for the next three months.

East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) anticipates "one of the most challenging winters on record" and says it made the decision “to enable us to keep more beds open over winter by consolidating the staffing in this way”.

The petition said: “At short notice, the Edington Cottage Hospital in North Berwick, which provides mainly palliative care and minor injury service, is set to close on September 13.

“This means no inpatients or minor injury service over the winter period and staff being relocated. 

“We feel as a community this is a vital and valuable service for North Berwick and surrounding areas especially over the winter months. 

“This hospital has been open for 111 years and is an asset to the community. 

“We MUST keep this cottage hospital open.”

However, a minor injuries service IS to remain at the hospital, operating on a weekday basis.

Members of the public who have signed the petition called the Edington “a godsend” and “the peace of mind our family needed”.

To sign the petition visit www.change.org/p/community-do-not-close-the-edington-cottage-hospital