The Government said in their response to the Health Committee’s report on national health service charges, that the Department would undertake a review of the current exemptions for prescription charges and put forward options that would be expenditure neutral for the NHS. We have undertaken to report to Parliament before the summer recess 2007.
When a patient claims exemption from payment of national health service prescription charges, mechanisms are in place for the pharmacist or dispensing doctor to request proof of this exemption and for the patient to produce relevant evidence to support their claim, depending on the grounds of the exemption. Where this is not possible, the prescription is marked “evidence not seen” and dispensed for free.
It is for the relevant primary care trust to establish whether a claim is valid. Anyone found to have wrongly claimed help with health costs will face a penalty charge and, in some cases, prosecution.