Real-time Exemption Checking pilot update

Real-time Exemption Checking pilot update

July 1, 2019

Four community pharmacy contractors have been piloting Real-time Exemption Checking (RTEC) since February 2019. Those teams can now digitally check whether patients are eligible for free prescriptions (because they hold specific exemptions) using the new RTEC system. NHS Digital worked with the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) and Positive Solutions to develop the RTEC system.

More than 3,700 patients were confirmed as exempt during the opening stage of the pilot, meaning those patients did not have to be asked whether they pay for prescriptions or to sign a declaration.

PSNC believes there will be clear benefits to pharmacy teams and patients when RTEC is more widely rolled out, reducing the burden of the current prescription charge exemption system which pharmacy contractors are required to operate.

Roll-out plans

Initially, those pharmacy teams that use the Positive Solutions Analyst pharmacy system will be able to use RTEC. Other pharmacy system suppliers are working with NHS Digital to introduce the RTEC feature in their software.

The RTEC system is being rolled out in phases:

  • Phase One comprises maternity, medical, pre-payment, low income scheme and HMRC exemptions;
  • Phase Two will include all Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) exemptions, including Universal Credit; and
  • Once the first two phases are complete, NHS Digital plans to conduct a prioritisation and costing exercise to explore the possibility of including the Education and Ministry of Defence exemptions in the system.

Further announcements will be made in due course, once roll-out timings are confirmed for those pharmacy contractors using the Positive Solutions system.

Read more at: RTEC and how it will work.


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