The Department of Health and Social Care will be freezing NHS prescription charges for the first time in 12 years as they look to help with the increasing cost of living pressures.
Under normal circumstances these charges increase in line with average inflation however, due to the rising cost of living, people in England who pay prescription charges will be saving £17 million overall. The charges for prescriptions will remain at £9.35, whilst a three-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) will still cost £30.25.
Sajid Javid, Health and Social Care Secretary, said:
“The rise in the cost of living has been unavoidable as we face global challenges and the repercussions of [recent conflicts abroad]. Whilst we cannot completely prevent these rises, where we can help, we absolutely will.
“This is why I am freezing prescription charges to help ease some of these pressures and put money back in people’s pockets.”
Alongside the freeze on charges for prescriptions, the NHS low-income scheme is able to help people with their prescription payments, with free prescriptions for people who are eligible. The list of eligible groups includes pensioners, students, and those who receive state benefits or live in care homes.
Covid-19 put a large amount of pressure on health and care services and a record £39 billion will be invested, over the course of the next three years, through the Health and Care Levy to ensure that the NHS has the funding that it needs. New surgical hubs ad 160 community diagnostic centres will also be opened to ensure patients have easier access to tests closer to their homes.
As well as these new developments, last week’s Queen’s Speech saw her give Royal assent to the Health and Care Bill. This bill will bring into action the most significant health legislation in a decade.
This will back the government’s health and care agenda by setting up systems and structures to reform how health and adult social care work together and tackle the long waiting list that came as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as addressing some of the long-term challenges faced by the nation.