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Prescriptions and dental treatments to rise in England from April

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
NHS prescriptions and the cost of dental care will increase in England from April, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The cost of a prescription will increase by 20p from £8.40 to £8.60 for each medicine or appliance dispensed from 1 April 2017.

The Department of Health (DoH) said that prescription charges are rising broadly in line with inflation.

However, the cost of prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) – a ‘season ticket’ for patients who know they’ll have to pay for a lot of NHS prescriptions – will be frozen.

The three month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104, allowing unlimited prescriptions within the specified time period.

The DoH confirms that the existing arrangements for prescription exemptions will remain in place; such as for pregnant women and new mothers, those over the age of 60, those with medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy and diabetes, as well as those on low incomes.

Dental charges on the rise

The patient charges for NHS dental care in 2017/18 will increase as follows:

  • a band one course of treatment and urgent treatment will increase by 90p from £19.70 to £20.60
  • a band two course of treatment will increase by £2.40 from £53.90 to £56.30
  • a band three course of treatment (crowns and bridges) will increase by £10.60 from £233.70 to £244.30

A Department of Health spokesperson, said: “Ninety per cent of prescription items are free on the NHS in England. We have chosen to freeze the cost of prescription prepayment certificates to ensure more help for the most vulnerable because these allow unlimited prescriptions in a time period.

Dental charges have always represented an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services — but we are ensuring that those who are unable to pay, including children, nursing mothers, and those on certain benefits remain totally exempt from charges. Those who do not qualify for these exemptions may still be eligible for full or partial help from the NHS Low Income Scheme.”

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