Hampshire: Hundreds of patients queued up for more than four hours to say goodbye to a cherished GP, when he retired from practice after 32 years.

Described affectionately as a ‘good old fashioned’ doctor, Dr Richard Hughes was adored for the way he took time to get to know people and talk through their issues — rather than to simply treat patients as ‘a number’.

His decision to retire from Hanway Medical Practice in Portsmouth, Hampshire, was met with dismay and receptionists were deluged with requests for appointments with the 60-year-old medic just so people could wish him farewell. But staff were unable to fit them all in, so they decided to specially open for two hours on a Saturday afternoon to accommodate their requests.

In the end, they were forced to remain open for over four hours after hundreds of people formed a queue around the block.

They arrived with cards and gifts — including food hampers. Practice manager Denise Fenton (57), said, “Richard was completely humbled by the turnout but it came as no surprise to the other staff.”