NHS prescription charges will be frozen for the first time in 12 years to help with the cost of living crisis, the government has announced.

Prescription charges normally rise by 20p every year, but the Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced they will not rise again until 2023.

Single prescription charges will remain at £9.35 while three- and twelve-month prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) will stay at £30.25 and £108.10 respectively.

Sajid Javid said he hopes the scheme will help to ease the financial pressure from the cost of living crisis and “put money back in people’s pockets”.

“The rise in the cost of living has been unavoidable as we face global challenges and the repercussions of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine. Whilst we can’t completely prevent these rises, where we can help - we absolutely will,” he added.

Campaigners want to see further action from the government

The scheme is one of multiple measures the government has put in place to help reduce families’ costs. But campaigners say it will have minimal impact, since the vast majority of prescription dispensed are already free.

The NHS Low Income scheme provides free prescriptions for certain groups including people over the age of 60, students in full-time education and those who receive state benefits or live in care homes.

Prescriptions are already free for everyone in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is now urging MPs to come up with further initiatives to reduce the pressure on family budgets.