OBJECTIVE: To determine present staffing levels, to find out problems, and to request solutions. METHODS: A questionnaire was sent on two separate occasions to all major accident and emergency (A&E) departments in the United Kingdom. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: There are marked variations in recruiting ability across the country. Presently teaching hospitals are having no major difficulty, but others are only able to obtain junior doctors from outside the United Kingdom. Public expectations and charter standards are difficult to maintain. There is evidence of increasing stress among career and senior A&E medical staff. There is an inexorable but slow increase in year on year workload.
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