Greater Glasgow health board has proposed a £400m capital programme, funded through private finance, leading to the development of a 'superhospital' at the city's Southern General Hospital.

The board's proposals include the transfer of children's facilities from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, and maternity services from the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital to Southern General.

General hospital facilities will be centred on Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Gartnavel General Hospital, with the Victoria Infirmary and Stobhill General Hospital serving their local areas with ambulatory day care and diagnostic centres for outpatient and day surgery care.

The proposals are part of a phased 10-year plan which will be subject to public debate over the next three months.

The health board, anticipating problems in 'selling' the proposals to both professional organisations and members of the public, hired public relations company Shandwick to help with the presentation.

It immediately came under fire from unions and local councillors for the high cost of doing so.