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[Editorial] Fixing emergency general surgery in England

In 2012, mortality rates for emergency laparotomies were reported to vary from 3·6% to 41·7% across 35 hospitals in England. Such shocking variation between health providers is one of the key problems facing emergency general surgery in England and little seems to have improved since 2012. A Nuffield Trust report commissioned by the Royal College of Surgeons aims to define these problems and outline potential solutions. With the challenges posed by the UK’s ageing population, declining numbers of doctors in training, and hospitals struggling to fill 24/7 staffing rotas, such solutions are needed now more than ever.