Letters: GPs work 12-hour days without extended hours

'Extended hours saved my life, says DoH czar' is an interesting claim - and one presumably aimed at GPs like myself who choose not to offer extended hours (GP, 24 April).

I work 12-hour days, just like Mark Britnell, and choose not to work extended hours on top of that as I believe it is in the interests of my health, and the health of my wife and children, for me to spend some time at home relaxing and interacting with my family.

I believe all patients have a duty to look after their own health, and this includes arranging to see a doctor if they have symptoms which cause them concern.

This may require some planning and rearranging of the diary, but how do Mr Britnell and his colleagues think I arrange to see my dentist, optician, barber, accountant, solicitor or MP?

If they choose not to arrange to take half an hour or so from their day to seek medical attention and as a result become more seriously unwell, surely the first place to look in an attempt to apportion blame is in the mirror - not at the GP who is not available at the exact time every patient demands.

Dr Adrian Wood, Hertfordshire.

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