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From Dr D Edmondson

Taunton, Somerset

I have no problems with the axing of boundaries and freeing up of competition if it means better services for patients (News, 19 November).

However, it needs to be understood that most practices have boundaries because of the requirements that patients have a right to request a home visit if the clinical need dictates. This is the sole reason that many GPs limit their practice area.

If this requirement to

visit was removed then patients could live in Timbuktu and still see me if they wished.

Until the NHS executive wakes up to this restriction then we have no other option as we try to give ourselves a fighting chance of coping with the workload.

· From Dr Martin Seely

Urmston, Manchester

Your report on Patricia Hewitt (News, 19 November) confirms my belief that no Secretary of State or health minister knows anything about general practice.

I work in Trafford and under her new pronouncement a patient in Altrincham some 15 miles from my surgery can request to join my practice and I will not be able to say No. Any visit to this patient will take up to 90 minutes for the round-trip due to the traffic congestion in this area.

I cannot afford this amount of time out of the surgery and sod's law will mean I will also have a visit 10 miles in the other direction on the same day.

I hope the GPC will fight this suggestion and get it thrown out with all the other daft ideas she has been pontificating on recently.

Roll on retirement!

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