Many practices have faced huge reductions in funding due to PMS funding cuts, but most have been forced to accept them. Not Dr Wilding.
The Huddersfield GP has spent this year fighting against what he calls ‘ruinous enforced PMS cuts’ by launching a national campaign ‘Family Doctor SOS’, a website, network and resource for practices affected by funding cuts. And this fight has paid off – his practice was due to face cuts of 44% in October last year, but has maintained its funding, despite the cuts being enforced in the rest of West Yorkshire and across the country.
How was he able to do this? By working with his patients, and getting them to fight against the cuts that would threaten their care. His patients set up an online SOS group for the practice, have got publicity behind the campaign locally and nationally and are seeking a judicial review of the cuts.
As one GP colleague put it: ‘He has empowered his patients by trusting them. He hasn’t hidden the facts from them or left it until it was too late. Surely a lesson to us all, that the most important partners in the success or failure of general practice are our patients?’
Over the next year, Dr Wilding hopes the victory in the funding battle will ‘inspire others to stand up, keep our surgery open and to be supported in transition to the new primary care world’.
Dr Wilding also finds the time to be the lead singer in a rock group called ‘Gastric band’. They were even invited to be a house band at a strip club, but were forced to turn this down due to on-call duties.
What others say about him ‘Tireless campaigner against PMS cuts and truly harnessed the support of his patients.’