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NHS funding slips, A&E shortages and pharma ‘cash call’ for antibiotics

Funding of the NHS has slipped behind that of health services in neighbouring European countries, the Guardian reports.

According to the King’s Fund, by 2020 Britain’s spend could be £43bn less a year than the average spent by its European neighbours, the article says. And it claims the NHS is getting a decreasing proportion of GDP that casts doubt on ministers’ pledges to ring fence health budgets and increase its overall share of Government spending.

Elsewhere, accident and emergency departments are short-staffed almost half of the time, according to a ‘suppressed’ NICE report on safe staffing levels highlighted by the Independent this morning.

And more than 80 pharmaceutical companies have called on governments to pay them better to come up with new antibiotics, the BBC reports.

In a joint declaration they told the World Economics Forum that the cost of antibiotics ‘does not reflect the benefits they bring to society’ – with little incentive for them to develop antibiotics intended for use as a ‘last resort’.

The declaration calls ‘for governments to commit funding and support the development and implementation of transformational commercial models that enhance conservation of new and existing antibiotics’.