Help with NHS costs
Most NHS treatment is free at the point of delivery - it will never cost you money to attend a GP or hospital appointment, or receive medical treatment. However, there are still some NHS services which you do have to pay for - for example prescribed medicines, dental care and eye tests.
You may be able to claim some or all of these services for free, or to receive a discount, based on your income, employment status, age, or state of health.
- Prescriptions - find out if you are entitled to free prescriptions, or whether you would benefit from a Pre-Payment Certificate.
- Dental treatment - find out if you are entitled to free dental treatment or help towards the costs of dental treatment.
- Eye care - find out if you are entitled to free eye tests, free NHS spectacles, or vouchers towards the costs of lenses and spectacles. If you are employed, your employer may also contribute towards the costs of eye tests and corrective lenses if you need them for your work.
- Travelling to hospital - find out if you can get help with the costs of travelling to hospital appointments
- Wigs and fabric supports - find out if you can get help with the costs of wigs, or fabric supports.
You can also talk to your GP about what NHS benefits you may be entitled to.
The prescription charge in England is £9 (2019/20) per item, so anyone who knows they'll need to pay for at least 12 prescription items in a year will save money by getting an annual certificate. You can also get a three-month certificate for £29.10, so if you need four or more prescriptions over this period you'd be well served by buying one.
A PPC costs:
- £29.10 for 3 months
- £104 for 12 months
- £10.40 per month by direct debit for 10 months
If you need:
- two items each month – you can save £112 with a 12-month PPC
- three items each month – you can save £220 with a 12-month PPC
- four items each month – you can save £328 with a 12-month PPC
Price is fixed for the year - so you miss out on the usual annual prescription charge increase each April.
The digital prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) is available to buy online
Other information and advice
You can read our news article on how much you can save if you
You can find detailed information about prescription charges, NHS costs and free entitlements on the NHS website.
Age UK offer information on your entitlement to support with NHS costs.