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Prescription charges crackdown

The NHS Counter Fraud Service has begun cracking down on people who make fraudulent claims for free services, such as medicines, dental treatment, sight tests and glasses, in Somerset.

The Service is beginning to conduct tougher and more frequent checks across the county, and has warned that anyone caught may face prosecution or receive a hefty penalty charge.

Last year NHS Somerset issued over 1,000 penalty notices to patients and recovered nearly £10,000 in charges and penalties from patients who made wrong claims. Figures show that in the county 59% of patients wrongly claim exemption from charges for sight test and glasses, 21% for NHS dental charges, and 11% for prescription charges.


Those who bend the rules can potentially be asked to pay back the original fee, plus five times the amount as a fine up to amaximum of £100.


[quote top=Andy Knight, an NHS Counter Fraud specialist, said]We are urging patients to make use of the information available and get up to speed with the charging arrangements in England. Many wrong claims are due to local people simply being unclear of their rights.[/quote]