Jump in dental charges
Fees will rise by up to 3% because the revenue is crucial to 'the delivery of high quality NHS services', health minister Norman Lamb said.
The new charges are:
- Band one course of treatment – up 50p from £18 to £18.50, or an increase of 2.8%
- Band two course of treatment – up £1.50 from £49 to £50.50, or an increase of 3%
- Band three course of treatment – up £5 from £214 to £219, or an increase of 2.3%.
All the increases run ahead of the current CPI (consumer price index) rate of inflation, which has fallen to 1.9%, below the Government's 2% target.
Mr Lamb told MPs: 'This Government has made tough decisions to protect the NHS budget and increase it in real terms, but charges for some items remain an important source of revenue to support the delivery of high quality NHS services.
'This is particularly important given the increasing demands on the NHS, with spending on medicines alone almost doubling since 2000.'
Mr Lamb explained that included dental charges, which 'represent an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services'.
He added: 'The exact amount raised will be dependent upon the level and type of primary dental care services commissioned by NHS England, and the proportion of charge paying patients who attend dentists and the level of treatment they require.'
The department also announced a rise in prescription charges (up 20p, to £8.05) and the intention to make an identical increase next year.
But he froze the costs of prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) for the next two years, for low-income patients.