Extension for medical exemption certificates due to expire

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has agreed that all medical exemption certificates due to expire between 14 December 2021 and 1 March 2022 will be extended for a further six months from the current date of expiry. The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) will contact patients with existing medical exemptions that are due to expire and supply a new certificate with the extended expiry date. These patients will receive their new certificate in the post before end of January 2022.

Until the new certificate arrives, patients are advised to continue using their current certificate as normal. If their current certificate expires before the new certificate arrives, patients can present the letter issued by the NHSBSA as evidence of exemption. If this evidence of exemption is not provided, pharmacy teams should accept the patient’s exemption declaration and mark the ‘Evidence not seen’ box on the reverse of the FP10 prescription/EPS Token.

For electronic prescriptions, pharmacy contractors using Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC) will be able to confirm the patient’s updated medical exemption status automatically. The NHSBSA expect to update their systems with new expiry dates by mid-January so there may be a period between mid-December and mid-January where RTEC display no valid exemption for those patients who’s certificates have expired.  If RTEC returns no exemption information, the patient should be asked to complete a declaration on an EPS token in the usual way and the ‘Evidence not seen’ box should be selected by the pharmacy.

Further information:

Exemptions from prescription charges

Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC)

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