Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Emergency department pressures

Elephants and scapegoats in the pressures on emergency departments

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 11 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h727
  1. Ronald J Clearkin, consultant physician (retired)1
  1. 1Market Harborough LE16 8EL, UK
  1. rjemc{at}

Curiously, elephants in small rooms often escape detection even by experts. Ham’s editorial reviewed pressures on English emergency departments.1 2 Yet he avoided explaining that while the NHS runs at white heat, hospital bed numbers are still being cut. This is despite the UK having the second lowest per capita ratio in the European Union,3 the population having risen by 10%, and …

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