Government response to the Health Committee's report on NHS charges

Command paper (23 pages, PDF) responding to the recommendations of the Health Committee's July 2006 report on NHS charges. In line with one of the recommendations, the paper notes that the Department of Health (DH) is to conduct a review of the current prescription charges, on the basis that any changes be cost-neutral to the NHS; a report is to be set before Parliament by the Summer 2007 Recess. On the issues of charges for the use of hospital car parks and bedside telephones, the paper merely refers to the two reviews being carried out, respectively, by the DH's Income Generation Team and by the Patient Power Review Group. Both are due to report by the end of 2006. A number of the Committee's suggestions are dismissed. These include the recommendation that a monthly prescription pre-payment certificate (PPC) be introduced and that a 12-month PPC be pegged to the price of a monthly PCC, that opticians be required to carry a range of spectacles within the maximum NHS voucher value, that the Hospital Travel Costs Scheme be extended to cover patients attending a primary care facility and to hospital visitors, and that, in the context of medicines, consideration be given to the establishment of reference pricing, to the use of a limited NHS formulary of medicines and to the introduction of a yearly cap on payments.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Article 82, Department of Health, Healthcare.

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