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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

NHS prescriptions

The current prescription charge is £9.

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?.

Read more information on prescription costs, including who's 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 3 bands of charges for NHS dental treatments.

Find out what's included in each NHS dental band charge

Some people don't have to pay for NHS dental treatment. Read more about 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 they have paid for.

Find out more about free NHS eye tests and optical vouchers

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.

Read more information on help with travel costs.


Wigs are available from the NHS. However, patients will be charged for them, unless they qualify for help with charges.

Read more about wigs and fabric supports.

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

Further information

Page last reviewed: 8 June 2018
Next review due: 8 June 2021