Prescription costs go up

COSTS for prescriptions and dental work are set to rise.

The cost of an NHS prescription in England will rise 25p to £7.65 from April 1.

Charges for basic dental treatment will rise 50p to £17.50, with increases of up to £5 for more complex work.

The changes in the amounts charged for NHS services were outlined in a written statement to Parliament by Health Minister Simon Burns.

The cost of a prescription payment certificate (PPC) valid for three months will remain at £29.10 and the annual certificate will be held at £104.

The dental charge payable for a “band 1” course of treatment – examination, diagnosis and advice, includes X-rays, a scale and polish and planning for further work if necessary – will rise 50p to £17.50.

Band 2 charges, covering fillings, root canal treatment and extractions, will rise by £1 to £48.

For Band 3 work, such as crowns, dentures and bridges, the cost will increase by £5 to £209.

Charges for elastic stockings and tights, wigs and fabric supports supplied by hospitals will also be increased.

The value of vouchers for glasses for children, people on low incomes and those with complex sight problems will increase by 2.5 per cent overall.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The Government is investing an extra £12.5bn in the NHS. And we are cutting back on bureaucracy, releasing an extra £4.5bn for patient services.

“In England, around 90 per cent of prescription items are dispensed free.

“We have frozen the price of both the three month and the 12-month prescription pre-payment certificate so that anyone who needs 14 or more prescription items in a year can get all the prescriptions they need for an average cost of £2 per week.”