Going up – prescriptions by 25p, dental charges by 30p

The cost of a prescription in England will rise to £7\.10 and dental charges are to go up by 30p, the Government has announced.

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo unveiled the 25p increase, which will take effect from April 1.

In Wales, however, prescriptions will remain free while in Scotland the charge is being cut to £5 from April.

Within three years the fee north of the border will also be eliminated.

The row over ‘apartheid’ in public services was reignited by the move.

NHS dental charges will also rise with a basic treatment – an examination, advice and any necessary X-rays or scale and polish – going up by 30p to £16.20.

It comes just over a week after a Citizens Advice report found as many as 800,000 people in England failed to collect a prescription last year due to the cost.

Ms Primarolo said the latest increase for England was well below the rate of inflation, representing the 10th consecutive year that the increase has been held below or around that level.

She said: ‘In England, 88% of prescription items are free of charge thanks to our extensive exemption arrangements.

‘Prescription charges are expected to raise £435 million in the next financial year – that’s valuable income that can be ploughed back into the NHS."

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