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Nhs Charges

Volume 410: debated on Monday 18 August 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the (a) items and (b) procedures in the NHS for which charges are made. [127559]

Treatment provided by the national health service is free at the point of delivery except in cases where specific legislation has been passed allowing a charge to be made. The current items and services for which a charge can be made are:

  • prescriptions;
  • dental services;
  • the supply of optical appliances by the hospital eye service;
  • treatment of private patients;
  • treatment of overseas visitors;
  • appliances such as wigs and fabric supports.
The NHS can also charge for the provision of accommodation and services for private resident and non-resident patients.In addition to the above, NHS hospitals can charge for certain patient services using income generation powers. However a charge can only be made where the service is considered to be additional treatment over and above the normal service provision. Any item or service that is considered to be an integral part of a patient's treatment by their clinician remains free of charge.