Care is better coordinated when doctors have personal responsibility for their patients. Continuity and a sense of personal responsibility are becoming more difficult to provide in hospitals, in part because of the European Working Time Directive. However, in many countries general practitioners are self-employed and able to organise their practices as they wish. In the UK, they increasingly do so in ways that make it difficult for patients to get continuity of care. This is despite most patients being clear that they want to see a regular doctor, and professional bodies in primary care consistently promoting continuity as a core value. General practitioners need to decide whether continuity of care matters. If it does, then they need to take a lead in ensuring that care is organised so that patients who want to see a regular doctor are able to do so. Suggestions are included for how contemporary practice can be organised to promote this traditional but still highly relevant value.