You would think it would be an easy thing to do. Especially since you have 10 years to plan it. You build a new hospital in Govan at what used to be the Southern General Hospital, bringing several hospitals together in one state of the art site. Then you pick a name.
Unfortunately, the combined site puts hospital workers to mega inconvenience travel-wise and some of them end up talking about having to walk through the Clyde Tunnel because there's nowhere for them to park at the new site. Local people who don't drive but have a runway for a car donate the space to nursing staff on Gumtree.
Patients and visitors are confused because it looks like anybody on the southside outside G52 and G53 will end up either taking a taxi to the hospital or taking 3 buses or going into the city centre by train and then getting the subway back out to Govan with a taxi or bus journey to follow. For gawdssake, you can't even get there directly from Pollok. And how long are these journeys going to take? Did anyone try to suss that out on behalf of the NHS beforehand?
There's major upheaval to traffic in the area as roads are dug up and new roundabouts are put in to accommodate a clearway,' despite the fact we already have a clearway from the city centre to Govan. It's called the Squinty Bridge. The local bus station is put out of commission, apparently for 18 months from June 2015 on, despite the fact the NHS could have started the work earlier - and despite the inconvenience to local travellers.
Local residents are outraged to find they're going to have to pay for permits to park their cars. Local businesses will also have to pay to park works vans. This is a very fragile community. Did anybody do any research before this all got going?
And finally, in a carefully handled ceremony, the new site is called the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Did you know that was on the cards? I didn't - and I know the area well and follow the news pretty carefully. Was there consultation on the name?
Govan is an ancient settlement. You only have to look at the stones preserved in Govan Old Parish Church to see that. The village has thrown up some remarkable people. If we'd been asked for a name for the hospital, we could have suggested:
The Dr John Aitken Hospital: this doctor was a tremendously important figure, a Victorian doctor who championed the good health of Govan people, especially workers in local industry. He died young and was felt to be so important a water fountain was erected in his memory at Govan Cross.
Or we could have had the Mary Barbour Hospital. Mrs Barbour was a councillor, a socialist who led the rent strikes during World War 1 when slum landlords tried to take advantage of the absence of the men at the front to hike the rents up and then tried to evict the families who couldn't pay. Mrs Barbour and her women won that battle and she went on to champion the cause of working class people, till her death at the age of 83 - in the Southern General Hospital.
This is never going to be the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. If we can't have it named after one of the champions of working people in the Govan area, we'll just keep right on calling it the Southern General. But there was an opportunity here for the NHS to do the right thing. And sadly, management yet again have f*cked it up.