As at the start of previous financial years, regulations will today be laid before Parliament to increase certain national health service charges in England from 1 April 2017.
The prescription charge will increase by 20p from £8.40 to £8.60 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. To ensure that those with the greatest need, including patients with long-term conditions, are protected we have frozen the cost of the prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) for another year. The three-month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104, allowing unlimited prescriptions within a specified time period. Taken together, this means prescription charges are expected to rise broadly in line with inflation.
Existing arrangements for prescription charge exemptions will remain in place, principally covering those with certain medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy and diabetes, pregnant women and new mothers, children under 16 and anyone over 60, and those on a low income.
As part of a two-year settlement announced last year, the patient charges for NHS dental care in 2017-18 will be 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 will increase by £10.60 from £233.70 to £244.30.
The maximum band three charge is for the approximately 5% of treatments that include items such as crowns or bridges.
Charges for wigs and fabric supports will rise in line with inflation.
Full details of the revised charges for 2017-18 can be found online at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-03-16/HCWS539/