Chris Philp was right to oppose stroke unit closure

I am pleased that Cllr Chris Philp took the lead in standing up for the Royal Free s emergency stroke unit in Hampstead. The unit is the second highest rated in the country and this rating includes its handling of emergency strokes. It is inconceivable w

I am pleased that Cllr Chris Philp took the lead in standing up for the Royal Free's emergency stroke unit in Hampstead.

The unit is the second highest rated in the country and this rating includes its handling of emergency strokes. It is inconceivable why the NHS London would want to lose such a valuable resource.

While it is good that the rehabilitation unit remains, closing the emergency stroke facility will mean that people in Hampstead, West Hampstead, Barnet and parts of Haringey will have to travel further to get emergency treatment - all the way to UCH, by Euston station. This is at a time when every second counts!

Chris Philp has galvanised support and the major Camden parties to seek a change in NHS London's decision - in the interests of local people. The Lib Dems should have joined in and backed this campaign. They have let local people down.


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Cllr Don Williams

(Conservative) Swiss Cottage

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Whilst Cllr Russell is being quite justly excoriated for his intemperate insults at Cllr Chris Philp, we shouldn't forget why the Lib Dem councillor was so beside himself. Unlike the Lib Dem council group, Chris has actually stood up for a matter close to the hearts and concerns of all Hampstead and Camden residents: the downgrading of the Royal Free stroke unit.

Any resident in the area who should be struck by this disease now faces increased transit times to the emergency unit that has been moved to UCH.

Cllr Philp's rejection of the bureaucratic decision to degrade the quality of our local health services was joined not only by the Camden Conservatives but also by Labour and the Greens.

Politics and war make for unlikely bedfellows but it was warming to see so many of Camden's politicians from across the spectrum cast aside partisan divisions to take a stand in defence of our well-being.

Many of Camden's politicians but sadly not all. The Lib-Dem group, which Cll Russell has so clearly championed with his 'eloquence' in the council session, decided to a man to ignore residents' legitimate concerns. It was in their implausible attempt to justify this baffling decision that Cllr Russell lost use of his senses and insulted Cllr Philp.

As shameful as that juvenile name-calling was, residents in Camden shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the real shame was in the Lib Dem decision to back the Royal Free's downgrade.

Giovanni Spinella

St James Mansions, NW6

I am totally unable to understand the actions of the Lib Dems in not standing up for the Royal Free's emergency stroke unit. Travelling further to receive vital, early treatment could clearly be a matter of life and death.

When will the Lib Dems stop playing politics and start supporting the electors instead. They have a very strange way of demonstrating their support for the residents they claim to be working for.

Michael Angel

Gresham Gardens, NW11

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