When do I have to pay for NHS treatment?

Although treatment on the NHS is free for UK residents at the point of delivery, there may still be some costs that you will need to pay, depending on:

  • what treatment you need
  • your circumstances

Below are some examples.

NHS prescriptions

The current prescription charge is £8.80.

If you’re likely to need several prescriptions throughout the year, you can save money by buying a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) – see Where can I get a PPC?

See prescription costs for more information, including who is entitled to free prescriptions.

NHS dental treatment

All treatment that is necessary in your dentist’s opinion to protect and maintain your oral health is available on the NHS. There are three bands of charges for NHS dental treatments – see What is included in each NHS dental band charge?

Some people do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment. For more information, see Who is entitled to free NHS dental treatment in England?

NHS eye tests

Some people are entitled to free NHS eye tests or optical vouchers, and some can claim a refund of optical charges that they’ve paid for. For more information, see:

Travel costs

The Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme enables some people to claim a refund of the cost of travelling to hospital or other NHS premises. See help with travel costs for more information.


Wigs are available from the NHS. However, patients will be charged for them, unless they qualify for help with charges. See wigs and fabric supports for more information.

Read the answers to more questions about NHS treatments and services.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 06/07/2015

Next review due: 06/07/2018