Health chiefs have launched their consultation on the closure of Swansea's Fairwood Hospital.
The 19-bed community hospital has been under threat for five years, prompting a fierce campaign to save it.
The health board says it has had 16 nurses caring for as few as three patients recently and the hospital is too expensive to run.
The proposal is to move patients to Gorseinon Hospital while their care packages are drawn up.
Patients currently cared for at Fairwood who cannot be cared for at home would be admitted to a newly refurbished ward at Gorseinon Hospital.
The 16 nurses will be given the opportunity of other jobs within the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, including the option of transferring to west ward at Gorseinon Hospital.
The board said there would be no compulsory redundancies.
Alternative uses for Fairwood are being explored but its design - two physically separated wards of 12 and 7 beds - means it is difficult to staff the hospital efficiently.
The health board's proposals are now subject to a six-week statutory consultation period which finishes on 3 December.
There will be four public meetings in the interim, with dates and times to be announced on the board's website.
Members of the public can also write to the board's chief executive.