NHS prescription charges rise but only in England as Thatcher gets the blame

The Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service aimed to cut waste and save cash [file image]
Prescriptions [file image] -Credit:Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

New NHS prescription charges come into effect today, with patients in England set to bear the brunt of the cost increases. The price for a single NHS prescription item is climbing from £9.65 to £9.90, marking an approximate three per cent rise, while the cost for a three-month pre-payment certificate (PPC) is going up from £31.25 to £32.05.

Additionally, the annual PPC will see a jump from £111.60 to £114.50, as confirmed by the NHS. The specific PPC for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) will increase from £19.30 to £19.80, and charges for wigs and fabric supports are also on the rise.

England remains the only part of the UK where patients are charged for NHS prescriptions. This is unlike Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland where such fees have been abolished, causing discontent among those in England.

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In response to the hike, one irate Brit commented: "The excuse they will use will be that they can't afford to stop the charges so let's help them find the money. Lets start by making members of the House Of Lords pay Income Tax on the Tax Free Daily Allowances.

"Next let's stop us taxpayers subsiding members of Parliament's food and drink. Then how about reducing how mush we pay into Members of Parliament and Civil Servants GOLD PLATED PENSIONS," reports Birmingham Live.

Another added: "The legacy of Thatcher still looms large in the British bit of the UK today. It was her who brought in prescription charges, in the 1980s."

"Not so much worried about the prescription costs as I am about finding a pharmacy that can actually dispense the items within a couple of weeks," another sniped. Laura Cockram, head of campaigns at Parkinson's UK and chairwoman of the coalition, said: "The NHS prescription charge price increase has struck fear into people living with long-term health conditions, such as Parkinson's.

"People are already struggling financially due to the cost-of-living crisis, and increasing the cost of prescriptions will result in more people missing, reducing, or delaying taking their medication, meaning their condition will deteriorate," she added. She continued: "There is limited financial support that charities can offer to offset Government shortcomings. That's why we're calling on the UK Government to freeze the charge in 2025 and commit to urgently reviewing the prescription charge exemption list."

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