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Thousands sign petition against hospital's royal name change

Thousands sign petition against hospital's royal name change

Thousands of people have signed a petition opposing the renaming of Glasgow's new super-hospital after the Queen.

The petition, titled 'We, the people, oppose the new South Glasgow University Hospital being named after a monarch', has raised more than 7000 signatures since being created three days ago.

The £842m complex, formally known as the South Glasgow University Hospital was officially opened by the Queen on Friday, July 3, and renamed the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

However, after the changes were announced last week, thousands of people have since called on NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC) to ditch the hospital's "unacceptable" new royal title.

The petition was set up by John Beattie, a PhD student in Media, Culture and Society at the University of the West of Scotland, as well as a radio broadcaster at Sunny Govan Community Radio station.

It states: "We call on the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board to change the name of the new South Glasgow hospital.

"Naming the new hospital after a monarch is an affront to our democracy. The fundamental principle of democracy is the equality of all people.

"Considering the fundamental principle of monarchy is superiority of the monarch and their family over everyone else in society, we feel the naming of a public building after such a person is unacceptable."

Speaking to STV, Mr Beattie said: "In this day and age, for a modern building in the 21st century, they could of thought up a more worthy name for the hospital.

"There are figures like Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin or Mary Barbour who has come up a lot in recent times - they could have been used instead.

"Either Scottish or British medical pioneers would have made a lot more sense, or local people of importance."

He added: "There are Queen Elizabeth hospitals all across the UK in places like London and Birmingham, so why do they need another?

"If you look at the Southern General's spinal injuries unit, the Queen is already honoured, so I don't see why they have to take it a step further.

"The support it has received has been overwhelming. It looks like we'll hit 7500 soon, I think I'm planning on leaving it open for one week, then I'll contact the health board and submit it."

The petition has sparked a lot of discussion locally, with Glasgow comedian Janey Godley providing her support (above) as well as politician Tommy Sheridan.

Others have also added their opinion on the Change.org page. Katie blacker from Rutherglen commented: "Disagree with named after someone who hasn't done anything worthwhile for the hospital, plenty of people do fundraising that goes unrecognised, or many great Scots the hospital could be named after!"

Sarah Findlay, from Glasgow, added: "Glasgow history is awash with examples of strong women who fought for health equality and social justice, and to name it after a woman who doesn't even use the NHS is absurd."

Zarah Patwary, also from the city, commented: "The public paid for this, not any of the royals. We have enough things named after them! It's a disservice to the people of Scotland and the people like me who will use the services provided at this hospital.

"Get the name changed back to its original choice or change it altogether."

Glasgow hospitals officially opened by Queen during royal visit

Read More

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow has also been renamed, with it now being called The Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow,

Similarly, the Teaching and Learning Centre - a partnership between NHS GGC and the University of Glasgow, has also been renamed as the Queen Elizabeth Teaching and Learning Centre - Stratified Medicine Scotland.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "It was an honour for our staff and patients to have the queen officially open three magnificent new healthcare facilities which will benefit not only the people of Glasgow but the people of Scotland.

"It is also a privilege to be given the honour of royal title for these magnificent new buildings."

Main image © SWNS Group

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