Extensive exemption and remission arrangements protect those likely to have difficulty in paying charges (NHS prescription and dental charges, optical and hospital travel costs).

The NHS prescription charge is a flat-rate amount which successive Governments have thought it reasonable to charge for those who can afford to pay for their medicines. Prescription prepayment certificates (PPCs) offer real savings for people who need extensive medication.


NHS charges

These charges apply in England only. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales prescriptions are free of charge.

  • Prescription (per item): £8.60
  • 12-month prepayment certificate (PPC): £104.00
  • 3-month PPC: £29.10

Prescription Prepayment Certificates

If you will have to pay for four or more prescription items in three months, or more than 15 items in 12 months, you may find it cheaper to buy a PPC.

Help with Health Costs

There is further information about prescription exemptions and fees on the NHS website

A note about exemption certificates. 

It is the patient’s responsibility to check their entitlement for free prescriptions (unless aged over 60) and to obtain a valid exemption certificate from NHSBSA. 

Please be advised: the Prescription Exemption Checking Service involves prescription forms being checked to verify the accuracy of the exemption declared by patients.  Where this cannot be confirmed the patient is sent a Penalty Charge Notice. 

MEDEX: People with certain medical conditions can get free NHS prescriptions if they hold a valid medical exemption certificate. You must apply for a certificate.  Medical exemption certificates last for five years or until the patient’s 60th birthday, whichever is sooner.  The certifcate must be renewed before obtaining further free prescriptions.  If you do not hold a valid exemption certificate and claim free prescriptions – you will be sent a penalty charge.

More information is available from:  NHS Business Services Authority

To check if you can get free prescriptions, please read all the information on the above websites and if necessary, speak to your GP or pharmacy .

Maternity and Medical exemption forms are available from reception – you need to complete the form and have it signed off by your GP.