What conditions and treatments aren’t covered on the NHS – and how much do they cost? 

The National Health Service treats millions of people a year. The service is free at the point of delivery, but care is not available for every condition at zero cost. 

There are some circumstances in which you may have to pay, or where the treatment you want isn’t available through the NHS.

This could be because that form of care is only made available to select groups, isn’t considered a necessity, or hasn’t yet been approved for use in the NHS. Some types of care may also involve long waiting lists for NHS treatment. 

Here are the main areas in which you might have to pay and what it could cost you. 

Eye tests

Children, people over 60 and various other groups qualify for NHS-funded eye tests, but most working adults don’t.

Typically, an eye test will cost around £25.


There are NHS dentists, but they’re not free for most adults, and some may not have spare capacity for new patients.

Band one treatments – including an examination, advice, and any necessary X-rays or a scale and polish – cost £21.60. Band two covers everything in band one, plus fillings, root canal treatment and teeth removal, for £59.10. Band three covers everything in bands one and two, plus complex procedures such as crowns, dentures and bridges. The cost for these treatments is £256.50.

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