As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, an eastern Cheshire GP has urged people to take more responsibility for their care and rely less on medical professionals in order to sustain the NHS that we know and rely on.
The plea was made this week by Dr Amar Ahmed, a partner at Wilmslow Health Centre.
He said people could support the NHS by choosing the right service for the situation, using the NHS responsibly and having healthier lifestyles.
He added that his practice – and many others across the area – were helping people take better care of themselves by empowering patients to look after their own health.
For example, many now issue social prescriptions for activities organised by Everybody Sport and Leisure to encourage exercise and healthy eating.
Dr Ahmed described his main roles as a GP partner: “Caring for patients is just part of the job.
“You are also essentially a businessman dealing with the running of a small business and all the headaches that go with it including employing staff, negotiating contracts and dealing with NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans and buys most of the area’s healthcare.”
He continued: “The job is always interesting because you just don’t know what patients and conditions are coming in through the door.
“It’s fantastic to meet so many people from different walks of life, from rock stars, actors and footballers to everyday folk and the more vulnerable of society, and to be with patients and their families through the ups and downs of their lives.”
Dr Ahmed was proud that the practice had set up its own hospital services from scratch, such as echo (echocardiogram) and ultrasound clinics – raising the funds for its own scanner in 2008 and again in 2016.
He has worked in the NHS since 1996, having training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London. He trained in specialties including A&E, psychiatry, paediatrics, and obstetrics and gynaecology plus medicine and surgery.
He joined Wilmslow Health Centre as a partner at the age of 27 and has now been there for 18 years. He is married to a Chelford GP with whom he has four children.