NHS prescription charges in England to be frozen in bid to curb cost of living crisis

15 May 2022, 00:20 | Updated: 15 May 2022, 01:12

NHS prescriptions will not go up this year.
NHS prescriptions will not go up this year. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

NHS prescription charges are set to be frozen in England as part of a bid to ease the cost of living crisis.

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It comes amid fears that the squeeze on family incomes is damaging the Tories.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the charges - which normally rise in line with inflation - will be held this year to "put money back in people's pockets".

The freeze, which is the first for 12 years, will save patients £17 million, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

It means the charge for a single prescription will remain at £9.35, while a three-month prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) stays at £30.25.

Twelve-month PPCs will remain at £108.10 and can be paid for in instalments.

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'It's gone past cost of living, it's about the cost of surviving.'

Mr Javid said: "The rise in the cost of living has been unavoidable as we face global challenges and the repercussions of Putin's illegal war in Ukraine.

"Whilst we can't 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."

The move comes after Boris Johnson instructed ministers to come up with measures to ease the pressure on household budgets due to soaring global prices.

Following the Queen's Speech on Tuesday, the PM chaired the first meeting of the Government's cost of living committee.

He called on ministers to be as "creative as possible" in coming up with ideas to help hard-pressed families which would not require fresh Treasury funding.

The DHSC has already said it will delay a ban on supermarket two-for-deals offers on unhealthy and fattening foods - to the dismay of health campaigners.