A community hospital which saw its only ward close after staff were temporarily moved out is not expected to reopen this year as NHS Lothian continues to struggle with recruitment issues.

East Lothian MSP Paul McLennan has said he believes it is unlikely the situation at North Berwick’s Edington Hospital will change following a three-month review due to be held tomorrow.

And South Scotland MSP Craig Hoy has described the “signals coming from NHS Lothian” as “deeply disappointing”.

READ MORE: Continued closure of hospital 'unsuitable'

Local politicians have been meeting with health chiefs for updates ahead of the official review tomorrow which will look at the situation across all hospitals in the Lothians.

The decision to move ward staff from the Edington to a centralised role at East Lothian Community Hospital in September “tore the heart from the community” according to supporters.

It is due to be reviewed tomorrow (Thursday) when NHS Lothian’s Gold Committee, who took the decision, meet.

READ MORE: Hundreds gather for rally to protest hospital closure

Mr McLennan, who heads the Edington Steering Committee in North Berwick, confirmed he did not expect any change to be announced.

He said: “It is unlikely there will be a change to the current position for hospitals across the Lothians from this week’s review.

“I have, however, been reassured by NHS Lothian’s chief executive who has told us it is not about money, it is about capacity and staffing in our hospitals.

“I am confident the Edington will reopen and will be keeping pressure on NHS Lothian to ensure it happens but we have to listen to our clinicians advice and it has to be done safely ”

READ MORE: 97 per cent of respondents oppose to closure of services

The MSP said the additional pressures facing health bosses to roll out Covid boosters in the wake of the new Omicron variant, alongside recruitment issues, has added to pressures on staff.

But he said NHS Lothian chief executive Calum Campbell had committed to meet with the steering group over the next two weeks, adding: “I have also been given an assurance that the situation at the Edington will be reviewed monthly as we move forward.”

And he said he continued to hold discussions with Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf who was supportive of the hospital.

A meeting of the Gold Committee of NHS Lothian will review the staffing situation across the Lothians including at Edington.

Conservative MSP Mr Hoy, who carried out a survey in the town which was submitted to the review committee and showed 97 percent of those responded opposed the closure said he was disappointed by the lack of response.

He said: “I am saddened that health chiefs appear to be sidestepping the views of residents yet again.

“Once again this decision has been taken without considering the full weight of evidence or without consultation with campaign groups or the community.

“This lack of engagement from NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government has been disappointing.

“It is also disappointing that Health Minister Humza Yousaf has not yet managed to make time available to meet with community groups despite assurances that he would.”

Ward staff from the much-loved North Berwick cottage hospital were moved to a more centralised service at East Lothian Community Hospital in September as part of temporary action to tackle staff shortages and safety.

At the time NHS Lothian insisted the move was necessary to keep services running.

However a lack of public consultation before the decision sparked a furious backlash from the North Berwick community leading to hundreds attending a “Hands off the Edington” rally in the town last month.

Health chiefs have stressed the hospital is not “closed” with minor wounds and treatment services remaining available at the site five days a week.

Alison Macdonald, Chief Officer of East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership said a decision on its future would be taken at the meeting tomorrow.

She said: “The position on the Edington Hospital will be reviewed at the meeting of December 9 using scoring criteria agreed with the senior nursing team and a staff representation.

“This criteria will allow an assessment  of the impact of reopening beds at Edington Hospital on staffing and on the overall bed position in East Lothian and the wider NHS Lothian area at this time.”