From July this year, pharmacy teams in England have been required to advise patients who claim exemption from NHS prescription charges, where evidence is required but not presented, that the NHS routinely checks claims to verify exemption status.
If the “evidence not seen” box needs to be crossed (or the equivalent in an electronic prescription message) then the patient must be advised in “appropriate terms” about NHS fraud checks.
In situations where patients are unsure whether they are exempt from NHS prescription charges (or where patients request an FP57 form), they need to pay for their prescription(s), and the pharmacist can issue an FP57 form at the time the prescription charge(s) is/are paid. Patients should be advised on the procedure to be followed for claiming a refund.
If patients claim exemption for NHS prescriptions but are not entitled to claim, they could face a penalty charge of up to £100 in addition to the original prescription charge(s). If payment is not made within the required timeframe, a further charge of up to £50 may apply.
The above is an extract from ‘NHS Fraud Checking: Guidance Notes’. NPA members can access the complete resource, including suggested scripts for pharmacy teams to use, from npa.co.uk/ information-and-guidance.