RTEC DWP rolled out to over 80% of pharmacies

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has confirmed that over 80% of pharmacy organisations have now received the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) functionality for Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC).

RTEC allows pharmacy teams to digitally check if patients are eligible for free NHS prescriptions because they hold a specific exemption. The rollout of the DWP inclusion in RTEC means patients found to be exempt via RTEC no longer need to complete an exemption declaration on an EPS token, saving time for patients and pharmacy teams.

RTEC has been rolled out gradually, in phases. Contractors first received RTEC for use with processing NHSBSA exemptions.

Commenting on the news, David Broome, a community pharmacy contractor in Leeds and PSNC regional representative said:

“The rollout of the DWP for our pharmacy team has been a positive development, helping reduce the amount of paperwork that my team and patients have to deal with and in turn the environmental impact of our operations. Whereas I used to send my paperwork bundle to the NHSBSA in a large box, I now send this in an envelope!”


Before RTEC can be activated for an individual pharmacy, the pharmacy contractor must confirm that they agree to the terms of the RTEC user agreement.

Contractors can access and confirm their acceptance of the RTEC user agreement via the RTEC registration form in the NHSBSA’s Manage Your Service (MYS) portal.

The NHSBSA and PSNC recommend that contractors who have not done so complete the RTEC registration form within MYS to avoid a delay to their PMR system supplier activating RTEC as a part of their rollout programme.

How to register

The NHSBSA has published a short registration guide explaining how contractors can log in to MYS and confirm acceptance of the RTEC user agreement.

Contractors already using RTEC also need to confirm that they accept the RTEC user agreement if they have not already done so.

Pharmacy multiples can submit a bulk declaration for multiple pharmacies if they wish (see the NHSBSA registration guide for details of how to do this).

Further information on RTEC, its deployment, and RTEC FAQs can be found on PSNC’s RTEC webpage

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