A peaceful protest is being organised in Glasgow this Friday, to fight against the naming of the city’s new hospital after The Queen.
The new £842-million hospital was built in May this year and was formerly called the South Glasgow University Hospital – a name that was used on all sign posts. However, following the official opening by Her Majesty this summer, the building’s name was changed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. .
An online petition calling for the royal name to be dropped was started by John Beattie, an employee of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. So far it has been able to gather 14,830 signatures, and the campaigners have organised a peaceful demonstration to take place outside the hospital’s Govan Road entrance.
“The reason I have decided to organise a protest at the hospital is because the issue still resonates with so many people,” said Mr Beattie. “We want to show them we won’t let this issue go away until the hospital name reverts back to the South Glasgow University Hospital or they give the people the chance to vote on a name.”
“People still care because the names of public buildings are important. It is the symbolism that emanates from them,” he added. “Naming the hospital after the Queen is regressive and old-fashioned and more reflective of old-fashioned Britain. We live in the 21st century. The elected officials of this city tell us ‘People Make Glasgow,’ yet a significant number of people from Glasgow are being ignored when expressing their outrage and disapproval of the royal name.”
However, Mr Beattie’s argument was countered by the Chair of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Andrew Robertson, who defended the new name. Robertson noted that South Glasgow University Hospital did not reflect the vast area served by the hospital.
Opponents to the current name have objected to a name celebrating the Monarchy and have suggested that the hospital be named after a figure who has made contributions to the field of medicine and healthcare instead. A popular choice is Sir Alexander Fleming, the Scottish doctor who discovered Penicillin.