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The Health Committee produces a pearler
  1. Geoffrey Hughes
  1. Correspondence to Professor Geoffrey Hughes, Department of Emergency, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia; cchdhb{at}

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In July the UK government's House of Commons Health Committee produced its long awaited report on urgent and emergency services.1 The committee has done a terrific job in getting to the heart of the problems afflicting urgent and emergency care in England. This work restores faith in the parliamentary processes that continue behind the tedious headlines of day-to-day, push and shove, sound bite politics.

A selected few of many key messages are:

  • The failure of emergency departments (EDs) to meet national waiting time targets in the early months of 2013 reflected the increasing demands that are being placed on the emergency care system

  • Whilst growth in attendances at ED has been limited, admissions have grown substantially placing more pressure on hospitals and restricting the ability of EDs to manage the flow of patients

  • Evidence regarding the profile of patients presenting to EDs is contradictory

  • Reduced bed capacity is an important factor in limiting the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.