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NEW FP10s for England in Circulation


Free prescriptions for STIs and new 'U' exemption box

New prescription forms are being introduced in England to help eligible patients correctly claim free NHS prescriptions and avoid penalty charges.

Key changes are as follows:

  • A new exemption box U for patients who are in receipt of Universal Credit and meet the criteria for free NHS prescriptions
  • Removal of box X “was prescribed free-of-charge contraceptives” from the paper FP10/FP10DT (token)
  • Exemption box G “has a War Pension exemption certificate” has been re-worded to “Prescription Exemption Certificate issued by the Ministry of Defence”. This is to better represent the exemption certificates issued by Veterans UK and those entitled to an award under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)
  • Combination of the age exemption boxes A “is under 16 years of age” and C “is 60 years of age or over”. These exemptions will be a single exemption category, A “is 60 years of age or over or is under 16 years of age”
  • Introduction of a new prescriber endorsement ‘FS’ for ‘free supply of sexual health treatment’ to enable prescribers to endorse prescriptions for STIs to indicate to dispensers that the patient should not be charged.

The new paper FP10, and corresponding hospital outpatient prescription forms, are being put into circulation now, and patients can expect to see the new forms in the coming weeks. Until then, patients who are eligible for free prescriptions because they claim Universal Credit and meet the threshold, should continue to tick the ‘income support or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)’ box.

Until the new prescriber endorsement ‘FS’ is configured into prescribing systems, prescribers should revert to issuing paper prescriptions with ‘FS’ manually endorsed next to each item intended for the treatment of an STI. Where ‘FS’ has been added as a handwritten endorsement, for example, on a computer-generated form, this should be counter-signed in the usual way. Dispensing doctors will continue with paper prescriptions with a handwritten endorsement.

Prescribers and dispensers are encouraged to continue to use the old FP10 form until stocks run out. The NHSBSA will process both old and new versions of the form during the transition period. Changes are also being made to the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) and prescribing and dispensing systems as soon as possible.

Patients can find out if they’re entitled to free NHS prescriptions, NHS dental treatment and help with other NHS costs using the online eligibility checker.

Patients are reminded that not everyone who gets Universal Credit is entitled to free NHS prescriptions and dental treatment. Universal Credit claimants are only entitled if their earnings in their last assessment period were £435 or less, or £935 or less if their Universal Credit includes a payment for a child or they have limited capability for work or work-related activity. Universal Credit claimants who don’t meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply separately to the NHS Low Income Scheme.

A FP10 NHS prescription form communications toolkit contains a range of patient-facing materials, including printable posters. Full guidance and information is available on the NHSBSA website.

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