National Health Service Charges: 1st March 2013

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Anna Soubry)
My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) has made the following written ministerial statement.

Regulations will be laid before the House shortly to increase certain National Health Service charges in England from 1 April 2013.

There will be an increase in the prescription charge of 20p from £7.65 to £7.85 for each quantity of a drug or appliance dispensed.

For another year, the cost of a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) will remain at £29.10 for a three-month certificate. The cost of the annual certificate will remain at £104. PPCs offer savings for those needing four or more items in three months or 14 or more items in one year.

Regulations will also be laid to increase NHS dental charges from 1 April 2013. The dental charge payable for a band one course of treatment will increase by 50p from £17.50 to £18. The dental charge for a band 2 course of treatment will increase by £1 from £48 to £49. The charge for a band 3 course of treatment will increase by £5 from £209 to £214.

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 the NHS Commissioning Board 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 2.5%, 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%.

Details of the revised charges are in the following tables.

NHS Charges  England
New Charge (£)
Prescription charges
Single item 7.85
3 month PPC (no change) 29.10
12 month PPC (no change) 104.00
Dental Charges
Band 1 course of treatment 18.00
Band 2 course of treatment 49.00
Band 3 course of treatment 214.00
Wigs and Fabrics
Surgical brassiere 26.35
Abdominal or spinal support 39.75
Stock modacrylic wig 64.95
Partial human hair wig 172.00
Full bespoke human hair wig 251.55
Optical voucher values from 1 April 2013
Type of optical appliance
A. Glasses with single vision lenses: spherical power of = 6 dioptres, cylindrical power of = 2 dioptres. £37.50
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. £57.00
C. Glasses with single vision lenses: spherical power of = 10 dioptres but = 14 dioptres, cylindrical power of = 6 dioptres. £83.40
D. Glasses with single vision lenses: spherical power of >14 dioptres with any cylindrical power; cylindrical power of > 6 dioptres with any spherical power. £188.40
E. Glasses with bifocal lenses: spherical power of = 6 dioptres, cylindrical power of = 2 dioptres. £64.80
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. £82.40
G. Glasses with bifocal lenses: spherical power of = 10 dioptres but = 14 dioptres, cylindrical power of 6 = dioptres. £106.90
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. £207.20
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. £192.90
J Contact lenses for which a prescription is given in consequence of a sight test by an NHS trust or NHS foundation trust. £54.70