Home Finance NHS prescription 'mistake' that could land you with £100 fine

NHS prescription 'mistake' that could land you with £100 fine

Britons are being warned to be careful to ensure they qualify to claim free NHS prescriptions from a pharmacy – or they may face a £100 fine if they’re found to be ineligible.

Several different circumstances can deem a person eligible to claim free medication, such as age, a medical condition, or if a person receives certain benefits.

With prices increasing by 2.59 percent in May, people can make a sizeable saving if they find themselves qualifying for free prescriptions.

However, those who claim when they shouldn’t could be slapped with a three-digit bill instead.

A statement from the NHS Business Services Authority states: “If you claim free NHS prescriptions or NHS dental treatment when you’re not entitled, you could face a £100 penalty charge. Even if it’s by mistake.”

Explaining the fine, NHSBSA said: “Each year, the NHS loses significant funds due to people claiming free prescriptions or dental treatment they weren’t entitled to. This directly reduces the money available for core patient care.

“We carry out checks on patient claims. If we cannot confirm during our checks that a patient was entitled to claim free NHS prescriptions or NHS dental treatment, they’ll be sent an enquiry letter asking them to confirm their entitlement.

“If they do not respond within 28 days, they’ll be sent a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN).”

If no payment has been made within 28 days of a PCN being issued, a surcharge may be added.

The NHSBSA urged: “Find out if you’re entitled to free NHS prescriptions, NHS dental treatment and help with other NHS costs using our eligibility checker. It usually takes 3 minutes to check.”

People can use this NHS tool to check more accurately if they qualify for the scheme.

People who qualify for free prescriptions may also be eligible to get some over-the-counter medicines free through the NHS’s Minor Ailment Scheme.

The service is widely accessible in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland and available in selected pharmacies and Boots stores across England.

How much do prescriptions cost?

On Wednesday, May 1, prescription and prescription prepayment certificate (PPCs) fees increased by 2.59 percent (rounded to the nearest 5p).

Charges for wigs and fabric supports were increased at the same rate.

This means prescriptions now cost £9.90 for each medicine or appliance dispensed, up from £9.65. The move reflects an increase of 25p.

The three-month PPC now costs £32.05 (up from £31.25) and the 12-month PPC costs £114.50 (up from £111.60). The hormone replacement therapy (HRT) PPC costs £19.80, an increase of 50p.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here