Have your say on name for new Southmead hospital
THE new hospital at Southmead could be given a new name – and the people of Bristol are being given the chance to have their say on what it should be.
The £430 million hospital, which will bring services from Frenchay and Southmead together under one roof for the first time, is set to open next spring.
North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT), which will run it, decided that it was an opportune time to consider whether the new hospital should also be given a new name.
Members of staff were given the chance to come up with their ideas and more than 400 submissions have been whittled down to a shortlist of six, which the public can now have their say on.
They include naming the hospital after engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, taking inspiration from the Bristol-born first woman on the UK medical register, Elizabeth Blackwell, seeking royal approval to name the hospital after Prince William, staying as Southmead Hospital or adopting a variation of the current name.
NBT chief executive Marie Noelle Orzel said: "It is fairly unique in bringing two teams to work together on one site and what we wanted to do was recognise that it is a brilliant new hospital, it's state-of-the-art new facilities and we are looking at new ways of working.
"In the context of that we wanted, with our staff, to see whether or not we should use this as an opportunity to re-look at the name of the site."
The names that have made the shortlist are Southmead Hospital, Bristol Southmead Hospital, New Southmead Hospital, Bristol Brunel Hospital, Elizabeth Blackwell Hospital and Prince William Hospital, which would require approval from the Lord Lieutenant's office.
Ms Orzel said the trust knows that people feel strongly about the name Southmead and there is a chance the name will stay the same.
She said: "I don't know what people will choose and that is why I think it is really important that we put it out to the wider Bristol population and really seek their help and advice.
"I'm not Bristol born and bred, I have been here just under three years, and I am absolutely torn myself.
"If I was asked to get off the fence and say which one of these I would want I would find it difficult."
Feedback from the public and NBT staff needs to be received by February 28, after which the results will be presented to the hospital board so it can make a decision.
More details on the hospital and a survey on the new name will appear at the website www.nbt.nhs.uk/newhospital.
People whose choice matches the most popular name will be entered into a draw for the chance to be a VIP guest at the hospital's opening ceremony.
Alternatively, you can email your choice from the shortlist to email@example.com.