The government has announced a freeze to the NHS prescription charges, first time in 12 years, to help people ease with the cost of living and ensure prescription medication remains accessible.
Charges for prescriptions will remain at £9.35 for a single charge or £30.25 for a 3-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said, adding that the measure will help save £17 million.
The 12-month PPCs will remain at £108.10 and can be paid for in instalments, meaning people can get all the medicines they need for just over £2 a week, it added.
The NHS low income scheme will also help with prescription payments, with free prescriptions for eligible people in certain groups such as pensioners, students, and those who receive state benefits or live in care homes.
“The rise in the cost of living has been unavoidable as we face global challenges and the repercussions of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine. While we cannot completely prevent these rises, where we can help, we absolutely will,” Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said.
“This is why I am freezing prescription charges to help ease some of these pressures and put money back in people’s pockets.”
The pandemic has put huge pressure on health and care services and over the next three years, a record £39 billion will be invested through the Health and Care Levy, so the NHS has the funding it needs. the DHSC added.
The prescription freeze will also apply to NHS wigs and fabric supports. These prices will remain at current levels:
- surgical bra £30.70
- abdominal or spinal support £46.30
- stock modacrylic wig £75.70
- partial human hair wig £200.50
- full bespoke human hair wig £293.20
Exemption from charges if you:
- are 60 or over
- are under 16
- are 16 to 18 and in full-time education
- are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate (MatEx)
- have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
- have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid medical exemption certificate (MedEx)
- hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
- are an NHS inpatient