A GP has changed his name in protest at what he claims is severe underfunding.

The former Dr John Cormack is now known as Dr John Cormack The Family Doctor Who Works For The NHS For Free, after paying £15 to change his name by deed poll.

The GP, who serves 4,000 patients at the Greenwood Surgery, South Woodham Ferrers, has been protesting against NHS cuts for years and claims he is not paid a penny and has to dip into his own pocket to pay his staff.

He said: “I think the change of name will highlight the problems we’ve faced trying to provide some sort of service for our patients and will shine a spotlight on the discriminatory policies pursued by the NHS behind closed doors while it claims to be fair and open and transparent.

“We’ve spent the last decade doing all the normal, ‘sensible’ things people do in these situations – writing to the various bits of the NHS that are supposed to police what goes on, attending meetings.

“The patients have signed a petition which went to the primary care trust and strategic health authority and was delivered to 10 Downing Street and have written here, there and everywhere.

“We have achieved precisely nothing thus far, hence the need for steps that some might consider extreme or unusual.”

Dr Cormack is in the process of contacting the General Medical Council about the name change.

Last month, he wrote to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asking him to work for nothing.

Dr Cormack said: “I’ve written again to the Health Secretary – using my new name – but have yet to receive confirmation that he and his colleagues are happy to accept the same pay and conditions as me in order to help the NHS in its hour of need.”

The surgery is in the process of appealing against how much funding it receives, with help from Maldon MP John Whittingdale.

Last week, the Echo featured Dr Sankar Bhattacharjee, 63, who claimed he was working for free while running the Westborough Road health centre, Westcliff.