Patients have queued around the block to say farewell to their much-loved GP as he retired after 32 years.

Following requests from his patients to express their gratitude to Dr Richard Hughes, the Hanway Medical Practice in Portsmouth, arranged for a special two-hour session on Saturday.

But because of the demand to see Dr Hughes, the well-wishers had to queue outside the building to say goodbye.

Sue Louth, 62, said: ''He had been my GP for more than 30 years and was the best.

''He took care of you and treated you as an individual - he always went that extra mile.''

Dr Hughes qualified as a doctor in London in 1977 and moved to Portsmouth in 1980 and began working as a GP two years later.

He said: ''I have always liked knowing people and finding out about their families so it was a perfect job for me.''

He added that he would use his retirement to spend more time with his wife, Theresa, and his three children.