The number of beds available for sick children at Whipps Cross Hospital has been temporarily reduced.

Due to a shortage of paediatric nursing staff at the children's Acorn Ward, the Leytonstone hospital has decided to reduce the number of outpatient beds from 27 to 20, but keep the number of day care beds at six.

The reduction will be in place until at least July 1 as the hospital, run by Barts Health NHS Trust, seeks to recruit a number of full-time paediatric and neonatal nurses.

The email seen by the Guardian was sent by group director Jane Hawdon and head of operations Clare Hogg of the hospital's women's and children's health clinical academic group.

The message to Ilford North and South MPs Mike Gapes and Lee Scott read: "We are currently experiencing a shortage of qualified paediatric nursing staff at Whipps Cross.

"Although we are actively recruiting to fill the vacancies with permanent staff, we are unable to safely staff the unit over the next eight weeks.

"We have therefore taken the decision to temporarily reduce the number of inpatient beds by seven to 20.

"This reduction will be in place until 1 July, and will enable us to consistently ensure we have the required level of qualified nursing staff to provide safe care at all times."

In order to ensure care if properly carried out, a daily review of staffing, capacity and demand is taking place, and any children requiring urgent or emergency care will be transferred to either Newham University Hospital or The Royal London Hospital if the hospital feels it is insufficient or unsafe to deal with the patients.

It was recently confirmed that the number of inpatient beds at the hospital's stroke unit were cut from 27 to 19 in a bid to get more victims of stroke rehabilitated at home.

Barts Health has been contacted for a comment.