The Prescription Exemption Checking Service is delivered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) as commissioned by NHS England. NHSBSA assumed the responsibility for this service from 17 September 2014. Prior to this date it was the responsibility of primary care trusts and NHS England Area Teams, for which no data is held.
From 17 September 2014 to 16 January 2015 a total of 1,475 patients who have declared they hold a valid certificate which indicates that they are entitled to free prescriptions due to a long-term health condition have paid a penalty charge in full with a further 898 patients who have opted to pay the penalty charge by instalments.
The NHSBSA cannot identify from the exemption checking process which patients claiming medical exemption have been sent a penalty charge notice as a result of the patient not renewing their medical exemption certificate.
For those patients who have paid a penalty charge the cause for the incorrect claim for free prescriptions is not known. There are various reasons which could include:
- expiry of current medical exemption certificate; and
- never been in receipt of a medical exemption certificate.