Charges for NHS prescriptions, dental charges, elastic stockings and tights, wigs and fabric supports and optical voucher values:Written statement - HLWS346

WS
Department of Health
Made on: 11 March 2015
Made by: Earl Howe (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Health)
Lords

Charges for NHS prescriptions, dental charges, elastic stockings and tights, wigs and fabric supports and optical voucher values

Regulations have been laid before Parliament to increase certain National Health Service charges in England from 1 April 2015.

This government has made tough decisions to protect the NHS budget and increase it in real terms, but health charges remain an important source of revenue to support the delivery of high quality NHS services. This is particularly important given the increasing demands on the NHS, with spending on medicines alone doubling since 2000. It is therefore crucial that these charges increase to keep up with rising costs.

This year, we have increased the prescription charge by 15 pence from £8.05 to £8.20 for each medicine or appliance dispensed.

Ninety per cent of prescription items are already provided free of charge.

To ensure that people with the greatest need are protected, such as those who are not eligible for free prescriptions but who have long term conditions, we have again frozen the costs of a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC). The 3 month certificate remains at £29.10, and the cost of the annual certificate will remain at £104. An annual certificate means that a person can have all the prescribed items they require during the year dispensed for £2 per week.

Regulations have also been laid to increase NHS dental charges from 1 April 2015. The dental charge payable for a band one course of treatment will increase by 30p from £18.50 to £18.80. The dental charge for a band 2 course of treatment will increase by 80p from £50.50 to £51.30. The charge for a band 3 course of treatment will increase by £3.50 from £219 to £222.50. The small increases this year are lower than in recent years’.

Dental charges represent an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services. The exact amount raised will be dependent upon the level and type of primary dental care services commissioned by NHS England and the proportion of charge paying patients who attend dentists and the level of treatment they require.

Charges will also be increased, by an overall 1.6 per cent, for wigs and fabric supports.

The range of NHS optical vouchers available to children, people on low incomes and individuals with complex sight problems are also being increased in value. In order to continue to provide help with the cost of spectacles and contact lenses, optical voucher values will rise by an overall 1 per cent.

Details of the revised charges are in the following tables.

NHS Charges – England from 1 April 2015

New Charge (£)

Prescription charges

Single item

8.20

3 month PPC (no change)

29.10

12 month PPC (no change)

104.00

Dental Charges

Band 1 course of treatment

£18.80

Band 2 course of treatment

£51.30

Band 3 course of treatment

£222.50

Wigs and Fabrics

Surgical brassiere

£27.45

Abdominal or spinal support

£41.50

Stock modacrylic wig

£67.75

Partial human hair wig

£179.45

Full bespoke human hair wig

£262.45

Optical voucher values from 1 April 2015

Type of optical appliance

Value

A Glasses with single vision lenses: spherical power of ≤ 6 dioptres, cylindrical power of ≤ 2 dioptres.

£38.70

B Glasses with single vision lenses:

spherical power of > 6 dioptres but < 10 dioptres, cylindrical power of ≤ 6 dioptres;

spherical power of < 10 dioptres, cylindrical power of > 2 dioptres but ≤ 6 dioptres.

£58.70

C Glasses with single vision lenses: spherical power of ≥ 10 dioptres but ≤ 14 dioptres, cylindrical power of ≤ 6 dioptres.

£86.00

D Glasses with single vision lenses:

spherical power of >14 dioptres with any cylindrical power;

cylindrical power of > 6 dioptres with any spherical power.

£194.10

E Glasses with bifocal lenses: spherical power of ≤ 6 dioptres, cylindrical power of ≤ 2 dioptres.

£66.80

F Glasses with bifocal lenses:

spherical power of > 6 dioptres but < 10 dioptres, cylindrical power of ≤ 6 dioptres;

spherical power of < 10 dioptres, cylindrical power of > 2 dioptres but ≤ 6 dioptres.

£84.80

G Glasses with bifocal lenses: spherical power of ≥ 10 dioptres but ≤ 14 dioptres, cylindrical power of ≤ 6 dioptres.

£110.10

H Glasses with prism-controlled bifocal lenses of any power or with bifocal lenses:

spherical power of > 14 dioptres with any cylindrical power;

cylindrical power of > 6 dioptres with any spherical power.

£213.40

I (HES) Glasses not falling within any of paragraphs 1 to 8 for which a prescription is given in consequence of a testing of sight by an NHS Trust.

£198.80

J Contact lenses for which a prescription is given in consequence of a sight test by an NHS trust or NHS foundation trust.

£56.40

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS370

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