§ Mr. Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proposals he has to provide wigs free of charge to outpatients who lose hair through chemotherapy treatment. 
§ Mr. Boateng
We are currently looking into the subject of such charges as part of the wider comprehensive review of health services costs and charges.
Currently, a wig may be provided as part of National Health Service treatment if it is considered to be clinically necessary. As with the supply of any medication, patients will qualify for free wigs if they are hospital in-patients. Schedule 12 of the National Health Service Act 1977 states thatno charge shall be made to a patient who is for the time being resident in hospital".
Out-patients cannot be said to be resident in hospital, and so are not entitled to the same automatic exemption from charges as in-patients.
Out-patients and day patients may qualify for full or partial exemption from charges on income grounds. If patients are in receipt of Disability Working Allowance, Family Credit, Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, they will be entitled to wigs free of charge. Additionally, people not in the groups who are automatically exempt may claim help with health costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.