DoH rules out free scrips for England

England will not offer free prescriptions or personal care for the elderly as Scotland has done, according to health secretary Alan Johnson.

Responding to questions put to him at a Health Select Committee meeting in London yesterday, Mr Johnson said the difference in policy was not because Scotland receives a higher proportion of funding.

Mr Johnson explained: ‘Scotland went down the route of free care. England didn’t do it because we thought it was the wrong thing to do.’

He said he also disagreed with Scotland’s free prescriptions.

‘I think there are better things you can do with your money to target the people who need it most,’ he said.

England’s elderly are currently means-assessed to decide if they are eligible for free personal care.
Labour MP Charlotte Atkins (Staffordshire Moorlands) said the difference in care was seen as unfair by people in England.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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