New physiotherapy and diagnostic units will be opened at Cobham Cottage Hospital this month but a newly-refurbished 18-bed ward remains empty as Surrey Primary Care Trust (PCT) decides whether it will open at all.

The situation is galling for people who raised £1.2m to open the hospital 20 years ago, and whose money has been spent on refurbishing the hospital and buying new equipment.

With the onset of winter, which brings inevitable bed pressures, the issue is seen by many as symptomatic of a healthcare crisis in Surrey as its new PCT battles with a £25m deficit and struggles to implement new reforms.

Esher and Walton MP, Ian Taylor, said: "The chaos in the NHS continues.

"Will Cobham Hospital open the new 18 NHS beds this autumn or not?

"Residents have a right to know. Friends of the hospital invest money in equipment they are told is needed only to find requirements have altered. Residents in my constituency are right to be very angry."

Chairman of Cobham and Downside Residents' Association, Ken Pursey, added: "I am 79 and have worked all my life and paid my taxes.

"I am really furious that we are being kept in the dark regarding this basic health facility."

The hospital has been closed for two years and people currently have to travel to Epsom or St Helier, which Mr Pursey said was a nightmare for elderly or disabled people.

He said: "Please could someone make up their mind and put us out of our misery."

Louise Staples, chairwoman of the Friends of Cobham Hospital, said it would be particularly devestating if the beds were not used.

She said: "We need to have the beds available."

The empty ward casts an unfortunate shadow over the hospital's planned celebrations over the next fortnight.

The pysiotherapy unit is due to open on Wednesday, November 15, and the Minister for Health Reform, Norman Warmer, is coming to Cobham to open the day surgery and diagnostic centre on Monday, November 20.

Cobham and Downside councillor John Butcher said: "My concern is that money raised by the people of Cobham will not be put to the use of people living in Cobham, which is a disgrace."

Mr Ken Pursey, added: "When is the PCT going to make its mind up as to whether the cottage hospital will ever be open with NHS beds again?"

A spokeswoman for Surrey PCT said: "The community hospitals in the area and the services they provide will be considered as part of the NHS Fit for the Future review, to ensure that healthcare is both patient-centred and sustainable.

"Any decisions about services at the hospital will be considered as part of this review."

The review, originally due to be put to public consultation in November, is now likely to be launched in January.