Southern General Hospital, Glasgow

Reference HB 17

Dates of Creation 1852-2004

Name of Creator Southern General Hospital (hospital : 1872-2015 : Glasgow, Scotland)

Language of Material English

Physical Description 30 metres


Scope and Content


Annual reports, 1906-1996;

Registers, 1885-1970;

Indexes to registers, 1885-1970;

Miscellaneous, 1868-1984;

Maps and plans, 1852-2004;

Photographs, 1902-1975;

Case notes, 1891-1949;

Genitourinary medicine department, 1919-1973;

Medical staff association, 1945-2002;

Institute of Neurological Sciences, 1942-1995;

Psychiatric case conference notes, 1954-1963.


Administrative / Biographical History


The Southern General Hospital [SGH] was originally the hospital of the Govan Poor House. Its earliest buildings were in Dale Street, Tradeston: these opened in 1849. Whilst the hospital at Dale Street had one male and one female ward it had neither nurses nor a doctor during its first year of existence. In the early 1850s the Govan Poor House moved into a disused cavalry barracks in Eglinton St where hospital provision was better. In 1872 a new 240 bed general hospital and 180 patient lunatic asylum were built at the large Merryflats site where space was set aside for mentally ill patients to grow fruit and vegetables. A large, new asylum was built at Hawkhead (later re-named Leverndale) in the 1890s. Most of the mentally ill patients who were thought capable of treatment and recovery were removed there whilst the chronic cases remained at Merryflats. In 1902-05 major extensions provided 700 more beds at Merryflats. In 1912 Govan was absorbed into Glasgow Parish. Between 1912 and 1948 the SGH (which adopted that name in 1923) was run by Glasgow Parish Council and then by Glasgow Corporation. The transfer of responsibility for the SGH from the Corporation’s Public Assistance Department to its Public Health Department took place in 1936, once all able bodied paupers had been re-housed elsewhere. In 1936 /37 a substantial number of new consultants were appointed and standards of care began to rise.

In 1947 Sir Alexander McGregor, Chairman of the Western Regional Hospital Board and formerly Medical Officer of Health for Glasgow, informed Professor Sir Charles Illingworth that he intended to use the new NHS to substantially raised the profile and status of the SGH. That vision was to take many decades to realise. Upgrading of the hospital's facilities, in the form of a multiplicity of medium-sized projects, began in the 1950s and was capped with the opening of a new Maternity Unit in 1970 and the completion of the Institute of Neurological Sciences in 1972. Between 1948 and 1974 responsibility for the SGH rested with the Board of Management for Glasgow South Western Hospitals and in 1974 it was transferred to the South Western District of the Greater Glasgow Health Board. In 1992 the Southern General Hospital NHS Trust was created. In 1999 this amalgamated with the Victoria Infirmary NHS Trust to form the South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust. The South Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust was disbanded in 2004 when the SGH was reintegrated into the Greater Glasgow Health Board’s South Glasgow Division. The SGH closed in 2015 when the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital was opened on the Merryflats site.



Arranged chronologically within series.


Conditions Governing Access

There is a 75 year closure period on medical records of adults, and a 100 year closure period on medical records of minors.


Appraisal Information

Appraised according to standard procedures.



Further accruals expected.


Related Material

HB 16: Records of Glasgow South–Western Hospitals Board of Management; HB 18: Records of Elder Cottage Hospital, Glasgow; HB28: Records of Western Regional Hospital Board; HB 43, Records of Killearn Hospital; HB 55: Records of Greater Glasgow Health Board.