HUNDREDS of Barnsley residents have signed a petition set up by a local MP against government proposals to scrap free NHS prescriptions for people aged between 60 and 65.

Currently, prescriptions are free for people aged over 60 in England, but the Department for Health and Social Care set up a consultation on the idea to increase the free prescription age last year.

Despite promising a decision on the proposal in December, nothing has been announced - prompting Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey to launch the petition.

If the change was agreed, more than 28,000 60 to 65 year olds in Barnsley would face having to pay £9.35 per item for medicines prescribed by their GP.

John said: “The fact that this idea is even being considered during the biggest rise in the cost of living for 40 years shows how out of touch this Tory government is.

“No-one should be forced into making that decision and missing out on the vital healthcare they need.”