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£842m ‘Death Star’ hospital opens doors to first patients

One of Europe’s biggest and most advanced critical care hospitals has opened its doors to its first patients in Glasgow today.

The £842m South Glasgow University Hospital (SGUH) 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 final cost of the project is reported to be closer to £1bn due to the additional costs of medical equipment. The project was funded by the Scottish government.

The complex is made up of two hospitals. The adult acute SGUH will see patients and staff move in a phased timetable with the majority of adult acute services being in place at the new hospital by the end of May. The new Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) will see staff and patients move in June but today the impressive new building welcomed the first outpatients. 

Robert Calderwood, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde chief executive, said: “The new SGUH and new RHSC have been a long time in the planning and construction, and I am delighted that they are now complete and the first outpatients are being seen today. 

“The completion of this Scottish Government funded project has been a major accomplishment and is testament to every single individual who has worked on this project since the blueprints were first drawn up. 

“It is now all about the patients and we hope they are as pleased with the new hospitals as we are. While the migration of all services will be phased over the next two months when both hospitals are fully operational they will revolutionise healthcare for patients.” 

Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: “This is a significant day for NHS Scotland, and in particular for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Building Scotland’s largest ever hospital has been a long and complex challenge, so bringing this project in on time and on budget is a real achievement in itself. 

“Today, all that work finally comes to fruition as we welcome the first patients for their appointments. These are state-of-the-art facilities, at the forefront of the latest advances in healthcare, and will transform the care patients receive from their NHS. “

The adult hospital features 1,109 patient rooms which all have an external window and are equipped to the highest standards with private shower and toilet facilities, free television, radio and Wi-Fi. 

There are self-service check-in machines and beneath the hospital is a network of underground tunnels for a fleet of autonomous robots.

The NHS ‘droids’ are tasked with moving medical supplies, linen, food and waste around the complex.

The facility also included miles of pneumatic tubes that will allow staff to fire medical notes, samples and medicines around the complex in seconds.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


Brenda Carson   27/04/2015 at 19:34

You describe the hospital as 'The Death Star'. This is a disgraceful and extraordinarily inappropriate name for this fantastic new hospital. You reference 'named by locals' as your source. Whatever that means. If I and my chums started to refer to The NHE as 'the House of Lies' would you then refer to your organisation as 'the House of Lies' ? I think not. This slur is shameful. A tawdry dig at Scottish NHS staff and an extremely worrying, nasty name for a facility which saves lives. Have you absolutely no thought for the patients and their relatives who are going there for treatment? Would you like to have a life-saving operation in 'the Death Star'. I have absolutely no idea how many 'locals' refer to the hospital by this name, but it is completely irresponsible of you to try to popularise this nasty name by giving it coverage. Also your article reads almost word for word like the BBC Scotland coverage. Who stole it from whom?

Drew   28/04/2015 at 13:04

I would like to echo Brenda's sentiments. I find the "Death Star" description of this new life-saving facility to be insensitive beyond belief. Why would you run with it? You should be ashamed of yourselves is using such a derogatory term when people are going there for life-saving treatment. An absolute disgrace.

Disgusted -West Mids   29/04/2015 at 13:56

DITTO!!! Be proud of the achievemnet. Good luck to all who work or use it.

Jonathan Clipston   02/05/2015 at 12:10

This was being built whilst I was working with Greater Glasgow & Clyde in late 2012/early 2013 - it's great to see that's it's now operational. Big congratulations to all involved.

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