Stretton ward at Ludlow Community Hospital is to close today because of a lack of trained nurses. It is merging with Dinham ward on the ground floor of the hospital.
More than 2,600 people signed a petition over the decision.
Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust says it will still be providing the same number of beds and access for patients.
In a statement, the trust said:
We have experienced some serious nurse shortages over the last couple of years and despite many creative recruitment drives still do not have enough trained nurses.
If the nurses are on the same floor it is much easier for them to support each other across the wards areas, keeping patients and carers safe and providing a much more supportive working environment for our staff.
The move is an interim arrangement and will be monitored carefully to ensure there are no unintended consequences.
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