Fines for medical exemptions often mistakes, says RPS in England

Many more patients receiving fines

Sandra Gidley, Chair of the RPS in England, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Moneybox programme this weekend about prescription charge fines.

Agreeing deliberate fraud should always be pursued, Sandra pointed out that the prescription charge system is very complicated and that many fines for not having a current medical exemption certificate are the result of genuine mistakes by patients rather than deliberate fraud.  

She also expressed concerns about the impact the planned real-time exemption checking system will have on patients in the pharmacy, especially when the NHS computer system is wrong.  Her advice was to patients was to pay for the prescription and get a receipt as this could then be used as proof for a refund should the patient be exempt.

Read Sandra's blog about the effect of prescription charges and fines on patients and pharmacists. 

Listen to Sandra's interview: