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Table 4 Patients' discussion of access and personal continuity intertwined, with 28 of 32 patients balancing each against the other depending on the problem to be dealt with

From: Personal continuity and access in UK general practice: a qualitative study of general practitioners' and patients' perceptions of when and how they matter

'I have always been impressed by that particular GP, Dr Comrie. He listens without wasting a lot of time. And the impression I get is that he doesn't treat me as another number, he will talk the position over. ... I normally see him. Always.
BG And perhaps, thinking if Dr Comrie wasn't available?
Well I would see someone else. If it was serious enough.'
Mr C2 (high blood pressure)
'I'm quite happy to see any doctor ... if it's a general thing that I thought, 'I'm not feeling that great, I've got the cold or something'. If it was something that was worrying me or I wasn't sure about, I would possibly go back to the doctor that I seen during my pregnancy ... because I felt I really trusted him.'
Mrs T1 (no chronic disease)
'It's necessary to have a good personal relationship and I think that's quite an important feature, to me anyway, might not be to everybody, but it's something I look for. … There's a deeper level that you feel there is an understanding between you, at a subliminal almost level, it's not just conversation, it's not just professional etiquette, it's like, the guy relates to me, I understand what he's talking about, I believe he understands what I'm saying, and we get on. … [but] If I have to be seen quickly, I'll put that to one side obviously. You can't just say "Well I demand to see Dr X", I mean, we're thinking about the Dr Findlay days when the Doctor would grab his black bag and rush out to Mrs So-and-so, because she was having a fit of the vapours or something, oh no, no, forget that. No, you would put that to one side and say if it's something serious, 'What I need is a qualified medical practitioner to have a look at this right now, I don't care who it is.'
Mr H2 (high blood pressure)
'I normally work and I find that trying to get an appointment can be real pain in the neck unless there is an open clinic, which is why it would be far better for me, if I could go along in an evening, and that's not something that's available ...
BG Perhaps just thinking that through, one way that you could provide evening care would be to be seen in the evenings by doctors working on shifts, what you would lose from that would be seeing your own doctor, would be that something that was important to you?
Not particularly.'
Mrs H1 (no chronic disease)