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The results from a survey of the use of general practitioner services are discussed to illustrate variations in patterns of surgery attendance. These patterns were partly influenced by factors such as social status and personal mobility of respondents. Age of respondents did not cause much differentiation of patterns but respondents were often found to be maintaining contact with practices in areas in which they previously lived, even where this involved travelling considerable distances. The implications of these findings are considered, given current tendencies to centralize primary care services, particularly into neighbourhood health centres.