Changes to proof of exemption

Changes to proof of exemption

March 5, 2019

Update

Following on from the announcement that NHSBSA were making changes to proof of exemption from prescription charges as part of their service improvement programme.  As of 25th February 2019, plastic exemption cards for prescription prepayment certificates (PPC’s) and maternity exemption certificates (Matex) are being replaced with either a digital or paper certificate. NHSBSA envisage it taking up to five years for the plastic cards to be fully phased out.

Important reminder

During the transition period, plastic, paper and digital certificates can all be accepted as proof of exemption from NHS charges as long as they are within their expiry date at the point of dispensing.

Pharmacy teams should note that it is the patient’s responsibility to make an accurate declaration. Checks are carried out on prescriptions claimed under exemption for fraudulent claims. Where patients do not have evidence or where there is doubt over whether the evidence provided is appropriate, mark the ‘Evidence Not Seen’ box on the reverse of the prescription. Pharmacy staff need not refuse to dispense items on the basis that the patient does not provide evidence of their entitlement to free prescriptions.

For more information go to https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/proof-exemption-prescription-charges 


February 26th 2018

NHSBSA are making changes to the types of proof of exemption. The paper NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificates were successfully introduced in March 2018, following this the plastic exemption cards for prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) and maternity exemption certificates (Matex) will be replaced with paper certificates. This is part of NHSBSA’s service improvement programme. The plastic cards will begin to be replaced by a double-sided A4 paper certificate from March 2018 as an interim measure, in a move towards using digital certificates in the future.

Separately, NHSBSA are currently trialling digital certificates for prescription prepayment certificates and maternity exemption certificates (see information on the digital maternity exemption service here).

What types of exemption certificates might be presented in the pharmacy?

NHSBSA envisage it taking up to five years for the plastic cards to be fully phased out so in the meantime the proof of exemption mentioned above should to be accepted as long as they are within their expiry date.

Pharmacy teams should note it is the patient’s responsibility to make an accurate declaration. Checks are carried out on prescriptions claimed under exemption for fraudulent claims. Where patients do not have evidence or where there is doubt over whether the evidence provided is appropriate, mark the ‘Evidence Not Seen’ box on the reverse of the prescription. Pharmacy staff need not refuse to dispense items on the basis that the patient does not provide evidence of their entitlement to free prescriptions.

For more information go to https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/changes-proof-exemption



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