Of all the things to get exercised about, the naming of a temporary hospital, to cope with the coronavirus crisis, should be far down anyone’s list.

The Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, announced the facility at the SEC in Glasgow would be named the Louisa Jordan Hospital in honour of a nurse from Maryhill who served in a hospital in Serbia during the Great War and died in the process.

Who could argue against that?

In London, the equivalent at the Excel Arena is to be named after Florence Nightingale.

Again, no argument required.

Douglas Alexander, former Labour UK Foreign Secretary however, decided the naming was about creating a difference between Scotland the rest of the UK and said, on social media, it should be the Nightingale Glasgow instead.

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His tweet is as follows; “Let’s focus on making a difference not proving we’re different. As a son, grandson & great grandson of Scottish doctors, I think ‘Nightingale Hospital Glasgow’ would surely have better reflected the truth that we’re all in this together.”

Perhaps Mr Alexander should practice some twitter distancing during this period.

Most people would be unaware of Louisa Jordan but very few would be rushing off to google Florence Nightingale.

But what Sister Jordan did is certainly deserving of recognition and why not in her home city.

In fact, there is an argument for going further. When we have recovered from this crisis why don’t we name a permanent hospital in the city after her.

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And while we are at it, all the other nursing and medical pioneering men and women associated with this city could have hospitals named after them.

The most recent hospital to be opened in Glasgow was named after the reigning monarch.

At the time and ever since, I and many others could see no reason why a hospital should be named the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

I am still willing to listen favourably to anyone who can explain it.

Why do we have the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital? Princess Anne is not without her achievements, she was undoubtedly a fine equestrian but I’m not aware of her obstetric expertise or midwifery skills.

We are not short of notable men and women in the medical and nursing field to honour by naming a hospital after them.

Professor Ian Donald for example, who invented ultrasound in the city. Surely one of the maternity hospitals could bear his name.

Professor William Macewen, credited with performing the first operation to remove a brain tumour, also merits greater recognition.

Whatever the current Queen has done for the country she has never, to my knowledge, wielded a scalpel to the same effect.

There are many others, including Marion Gilchrist, the first woman to graduate from the first medical school to accept women, and with a high commendation in medicine from Glasgow University no less.

She helped dispel the obstructive notion only men could be doctors and clear a path for the many thousands of women who followed.

Why do we insist on naming hospitals after members of a dynasty whose achievements in the field are zero and overlook those whose work contributed to the body of medicine that is still saving lives to this day.

We could even name one the Florence Nightingale Hospital to keep Douglas Alexander happy.   


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