It was very interesting to read the article, First Residents Settle Into Life At Gladstone House (Advertiser, May 3).

However, I must record my concerns regarding the paragraph “eight apartments will be used for people who have been discharged from hospital and need time to have their needs assessed before returning home.”

This is wonderful for those people who need this facility except for one thing — has anyone thought of the fact that Newark Hospital already has a ward used for this purpose?

The Fernwood ward has 12 beds, which can be increased if necessary, thereby releasing beds at our major hospital units when a “black” situation is announced.

We, the users of Newark Hospital, have not been told of this facility at Gladstone House and I have been to many meetings where this could have been mentioned.

When patients are transferred from larger hospitals to Gladstone House will we be told that the Fernwood unit is now being underused and is no longer needed, thereby losing another ward at our hospital? This would be a great loss.

I have said in the past that we are taking steps backwards and that most of our hospital is not being utilised.

Also, we need to know who is funding these ‘step-down’ units and how are they to be staffed and managed.

We have a wonderful hospital at Newark with staff who are always highly praised for their skills and dedication and an Urgent Care Centre that is being well used.

Is this yet another instance where a decision has been made prior to consultation with the users?

Is anyone in authority speaking up on our behalf to help us keep and improve the usage of our much needed and loved hospital? — Doreen Langford, Marlborough Close, Newark.