Most services available under the NHS such as care from a doctor or hospital care are free at point of delivery. However, service charges may be payable for the following NHS services.

· NHS Prescriptions
· NHS dental treatment
· NHS sight test, glasses and contact lenses
· NHS travel cost to and from hospital for treatment

Help with these cost may be available depending on an individual’s personal disability or age, or help may be available for those with low incomes based on a means test or those in receipt of relevant prescribed Social Security Benefits.


Free treatment will be available for NHS charges where the claimant is in receipt of and can prove receipt of certain means tested benefits. Proof may be provided by way of a benefit book or a benefit award letter showing applicants name and N.I number.

Exemptions apply to the following

· All those in receipt of Income Support
· All those in receipt of Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
· Some claimants in receipt of Working Family Tax Credit
· Some claimants in receipt of Disabled Person Tax Credit

NHS Prescriptions

Patients who may require a number of prescriptions in a given period may benefit from applying for a prescription pre payment certificate. This will be of benefit where the applicant needs more than 5 items in 4 months or more than 14 items in 12 months. The pre payment certificate must be purchased in advance using form FP95

People exempt from prescription charges

· A person over 60

· A claimant is in receipt of relevant benefits (see exemptions to benefits)


Most people have to pay for NHS dental charges, however, certain services provided by a dentist under NHS scheme are free regardless of claimant’s income. (Not private)

The services are

· Repairs to dentures
· Stopping bleeding after extraction
· Calling an NHS dentist to his surgery in an emergency
· Home visits by an NHS dentist if needed

Claimants are exempt in receipt of relevant benefit (see exemptions to benefits)


Form HC1 from your local benefits agency sight tests, glasses and contact lenses.

If you are in receipt of relevant benefits you are exempt from paying for sight test, glasses and contact lenses.  To claim you need form HC1 and HC2 by calling 0845 610 1112


Applicants will be entitled to help with travel costs provided through the hospital travel cost scheme.

  • They are receiving NHS treatment under the care of a hospital consultant
  • If you are in receipt of relevant benefit (see exemptions to benefits)

HC2 Certificate required from

HC3 Certificate may receive financial assistance towards the cost of travel

Travel cost which can be claimed

  • Public transport fares
  • Estimated cost of fuel for private transport
  • Any contributions the patient may have to pay dial a ride or community transport schemes.
  • Taxi fares, but only when there are no other means by which the patient could reasonably travel.  If this is the case a letter from your GP or specialist is needed to support the application.

When you go for your appointment take your receipts with you and proof of the benefit you are receiving (not card) letter or book, and take them to the general office where you will be reimbursed with your travel costs.

National Numbers

NHS help with travel costs