Patients on a psychiatric ward at Birmingham Children's Hospital are to be rehoused in two separate spaces - with older children being treated on a general ward.

Last month Paul O'Connor, the hospital's chief executive, assured The Post none of the ten beds used by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) would be axed.

Hospital bosses had previously told the the city council's health scrutiny committee that beds on Ward 3 would face "marginal" cuts of "up to 50 per cent".

Instead, in order to keep all ten beds open, patients will be divided between Ward 8's annex and Ward 7, a general ward where older CAMHS patients are occasionally accommodated. The move is set to be completed by the end of January.

It has been made necessary as Ward 3 is to be transformed into the first paediatric research facility funded by the Wellcome Foundation in the UK.

The shake-up is part of the foundation trust's Estates Review, which will also result in a new renal ward and dialysis unit, an expanded liver ward, and more laboratory space for genetic screening.

Mr O'Connor said: "Obviously the perfect solution would be to keep ten beds in one space but the problem with that is we're also trying to fit in lots of extra and expanded services."

But Mark Oley, chairman of Birmingham East and North PCT's Patient Forum, criticised the proposals.

"To me this sounds totally unworkable, I don't think the commissioners or clinicians will go for this," he said.