South Woodham Ferrers: Doctor changes his name by deed poll to highlight lack of funding

Dr John Cormack.  Photo:  Ian Nicholson/PA Wire Dr John Cormack. Photo: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Monday, December 30, 2013
12:00 PM

A doctor has changed his name by deed poll to highlight the lack of funding his practice is receiving.

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Dr John Cormack, who runs the Greenwood Surgery in South Woodham Ferrers is now officially registered as Dr John Cormack-the-Family-Doctor-who-works-for-the-NHS-for-free at the UK Deed Poll Office - a reflection of the fact that he has been unable to draw a wage in recent years.

He claims in the last financial year he ended up having to find almost £5,000 of his own money to finance the practice’s running costs – in effect, forcing him to pay “for the privilege of looking after patients for a full 12 months.”

He says his situation, where he is using his pension to cover the cost of bringing in another GP part-time to see some of the 4,000 patients registered at the surgery, has been brought about by “unfair” formulas used to calculate payments made to independent surgeries.

He said: “I’ve decided to change my name to draw attention to our situation. I’ve tried the conventional route - attended meetings, set up petitions and sent letters to the PCT and other NHS organisations - and nothing has happened. I’ve realised you don’t get anything done by quietly beavering away, so I’ve done something that might make people take notice.”

Dr Cormack 66, who has been working as a GP in South Woodham Ferrers for 30 years, said he intends to use his new moniker on official letterheads and e-mails. He has also informed the General Medical Council of his change of name.

He added: “ It’s all good, clean fun but this campaign is not about me – it’s about my patients who have been denied the basic right of a fair share of NHS resources.

“I’m getting on now and would like to retire or go part-time at some stage, so I want to get the practice into a more stable condition before I go. At the moment, the practice depends on my good will and if anything should happen to me, it could close down.

“Who in their right mind would take this on? If I advertised for a new GP saying: ‘Lovely practice, terrific staff and wonderful patients but, sadly, we can’t pay you anything’ I imagine there wouldn’t be many takers!”