Glasgow & West Scotland

South Glasgow University Hospital welcomes first patients

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Media captionThe UK's newest hospital is to open later in Glasgow, as Eleanor Bradford reports

The UK's newest hospital has welcomed its first patients.

The South Glasgow University Hospital is one of the biggest critical care complexes in Europe.

It has been nicknamed the "Death Star" by locals because of its imposing 14-storey star-shaped design, topped by a landing pad for aircraft.

The hospital cost £842m but the medical equipment inside has brought the final total closer to £1bn. The project was funded by the Scottish government.

Image copyright NHSGGC
Image caption The first outpatients have gone through self checking in at the new hospital

The hospital features interactive displays for children developed in collaboration with the Glasgow Science Centre, along with a cinema and roof garden in the children's wing.

Patients enter the main hospital through a dramatic atrium which stretches up the entire height of the building.

There are self-service check-in machines, and nearly all of the 1,100 beds have their own room, with an en-suite bathroom and views out over the city.

Image copyright NHS GGC
Image caption The campus has two hospitals - one for adults and a dedicated children's facility

A fleet of robots deliver linen and other goods via a network of underground tunnels.

The hospital replaces four ageing hospitals across Glasgow, some of which date back to Victorian times.

Dr David Stewart is the medical director for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the man in charge of moving 1,000 inpatients and 10,000 staff to the new facility.

"This allows us to truly bring healthcare into the 21st Century," he said.

"For most of my career I've been working out of buildings some of which have been more than 100 years old.

"Frankly, although they were fine in their day, they were not suitable for the type of technologically based healthcare which we need to deliver now."

The new hospital has not been without its problems. Staff say there are not enough car parking spaces and there have been claims that there are not enough beds, despite its huge size.

"We're opening more beds on this site than we're closing on the other sites," said Dr Stewart.

"We'll have 3,500 car parking spaces and 60 buses arriving per hour at peak times."

By converging four hospitals into one, health bosses say they will be able to staff the rotas more easily and make sure specialists are on hand night and day.

This is in response to research which suggests people are more likely to die if they're admitted to hospital over the weekend or during a bank holiday.

The first outpatients will be treated at the hospital on Monday.

It will take until June to move all of the staff and patients into their new surroundings.

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