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Table 8 Did patients and GPs know what each other thought about personal continuity and access?

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

1. Lack of knowledge of GPs' beliefs by patients (both patients identified the interviewed GP as 'their' doctor, and both GPs said they thought personal continuity very important for chronic problems).
'BG Is it something that Dr E has ever said to you – 'I think it's important that you see me?'
No it's just purely something that I am generating, the driver is mine, you know. It's entirely my desire to see her.'
Mr E3 (diabetes)
'BG You said quite strongly that you prefer to see the one doctor, do you think the doctors feel the same way, do they encourage you to stick to the same doctor?
Mmm now there's a thing. Eh, I never thought of that, eh, I suppose they do, would like you to stay with them. I'd hope so anyway.'
Mrs G3 (diabetes)
2. Misperceptions of patients' beliefs by GPs based on observing consultation patterns
'I see Dr M if I can but it takes about 3 weeks to get an appointment ... so, like if she was ill, I'd want to see Dr M but it's impossible ... so usually I have to see one of the other doctors.'
Mrs M1 (no chronic disease)
'As far as dealing with her on health problems in the past, I couldn't claim to know her history very well. She is the sort of person that if she came in I would have to have a good look through her records to have some understanding of what's been happening with her. ...
BG Is it a family where you think there is a main doctor, I mean is there a main doctor for her?
I don't think so, no, I wouldn't have thought so. I think they probably see one, maybe one or two out of the five of us, two maybe on a more regular basis and maybe one or two of the other doctors at other times.'
Dr M