Philp was determined to keep his campaign on the road so he managed to get a resolution passed at a full Council meeting, with the support of the Labour and Green parties, critical of the proposal to use UCLH as the HASU.
The Liberal Democrats stood alone in support of the new HASU, largely because we had done enough to study the proposals in detail and recognised they represented a step change in future survival rates from strokes.
Now we have the first figures after the new HASU has been in operation for six months. Some 2,675 patients have been taken by the London Ambulance Service to HASUs across our area. The transport time from home to HASU is less than 30 minutes in 93% of cases. The HASU established in UCLH in April is now ranked second best in the country in the recent RCP audit.
The number of people receiving thrombolysis in our area of London has doubled due to centralisation. Thrombolysis is a lifesaving treatment which can only be given within a strict time period. Previously patients waited up to 72 hours to see a specialist- now they are at the specialist unit in 30 minutes. The in-hospital mortality rate for patients treated through the UCLH HASU is now strikingly low - 6% against the national average of 27%.
This means in practice that if these proposals to centralise emergency stroke care in the HASU at UCLH had not gone ahead, as the other parties wanted, dozens of local people would now be dead. So those that whipped up a stupid frenzy of petty parochialism earlier this year should now hang their heads in shame. Their views were not even supported by key staff at the Royal Free, the hospital they purported to support.
There are times when politicians should properly examine the clinical evidence for change and show leadership on matters of health policy. I am proud to have to got this one right...