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 to sustain the NHS.

The plea comes from 46-year-old Dr Amar Ahmed, a partner at Wilmslow Health Centre since the turn of the century.

He said people could support the NHS by choosing the right service for the situation, using the NHS responsibly and having healthier lifestyles.

He said 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 and by issuing 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.

He said: “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.

“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.”

He was proud the practice had set up from scratch its own hospital services such as echo (echocardiogram) and ultrasound clinics, raising the funds for its own scanner in 2008 and again in 2016.