RPS England welcomes check before you tick

New campaign on eligibility for free prescriptions

NHS England and the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) have launched a campaign, Check Before You Tick, to help people understand their eligibility for free prescriptions.  NHS BSA checks claims for free prescriptions on behalf of NHS England and states that mistaken or fraudulent claims cost the NHS £256 million every year.

If a patient claims for a free prescription when they aren’t eligible, they may be issued with a penalty charge notice of up to £100.

Patients can be signposted to an online eligibility checker to find out whether they are entitled to free prescriptions before claiming.  Pharmacists should now have received a communications toolkit, posters, and point of sale materials to display to help clarify the rules.

RPS Board Chair Sandra Gidley said:

“It’s important that patients know how and when they can get free prescriptions.  Pharmacists and their teams already play a key role in the prescription exemption checking process, but can help by encouraging patients to check their entitlement before completing the declaration on the prescription. Patients can forget to renew their exemption, so reminding them or helping them check online could help avoid a fine for a genuine mistake.”

PHE have also created a briefing for pharmacy teams on the campaign.