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Pocklington residents could soon lose free prescriptions under proposed changes

Photo: Boots

Under proposed changes to free prescriptions, more Pocklington residents could soon be forced to pay for medications.

Government ministers have recently been consulting on plans to raise the qualifying age for free prescriptions in England from 60 to 66, which could affect around 1K people in Pocklington

According to the York Liberal Democrats, this could happen as early as the 1st of April.

The current prescription charge is £9.35 per item, so could see an average person in their early 60s paying an extra £50 to £100 a year unless they qualify for an exemption.

The average person in their early 60s would pay an extra £50 to £100 a year unless they qualify for another exemption, they say.

Lib Dem Cllr Carol Runciman, who is also an executive member for health at the City of York Council said:

“My biggest worry about this proposal is its potential impact on people’s health, particularly as the pandemic is still ongoing.

“I am deeply concerned some may be reluctant to act on symptoms, seek medical advice or get a diagnosis, for fear they will be unable to afford long term, symptom relieving or even in some cases lifesaving medication.”

The proposal is getting criticised as Scotland and Wales prescriptions remain free for everyone, with the new proposal further penalising those who need multiple medicines to manage serious long term health conditions

The Department of Health and Social Care wanted to stress that no decision has been made yet, and responses to the proposal are being considered carefully.

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