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Digital maternity exemption service

Information for healthcare professionals 

We're piloting the digital maternity exemption (matex) service where healthcare professionals complete a secure online application on behalf of their patients. 

Mothers using the new service get their digital exemption certificate straight away if they provide an email address. 

Reasons to use the digital service

Research shows us that currently many women wait for their certificate before getting the medication they need. It can take over 2 weeks to receive it by post.

With the new digital service mothers are exempt immediately after their application has been submitted, so they do not need to:

  • wait to collect prescriptions or get dental treatment
  • pay and claim a refund later while waiting for their certificate

In 2018 we sent out almost half a million paper matex application (FW8) forms.

Midwives can now submit their applications much easier, faster, more accurately and for free, helping us to significantly reduce NHS costs. 

Register to use the service

If you already have an NHSmail email address, you'll be able to use this to register for the service and log in.
To get registered, just email and include your:
  • name
  • NMC or GMC number
  • email address
If you're registering more than one user, make sure that you give us these details for each person that needs access to the service. The easiest way to do this is by completing and returning our template by email:
Template for registering multiple midwives (Excel: 12KB)

    Digital application process 

    If the patient provides an email address

    1. Complete the online application form.
      If the mother is with you, ask her to check that the details are correct before submitting.
    2. The mother gets her digital certificate by email.

    If the patient doesn’t provide an email address

    1. Complete the online application form.
      If the mother is with you, ask her to check that the details are correct before submitting.
    2. The mother gets her certificate through the post within 10 working days.

    Logging in with NHSmail

    To use the digital maternity exemption service you will need to log in using your NHSmail account username and password. 
    Accessing the service using NHSmail means you can easily:

    •     change and reset the password on your account

    •     change your account details

    If you do not have an NHSmail address

    If you do not have an NHSmail address (this is an email ending with read the information on the NHSmail website on how to join NHSmail.

    You will not have to use NHSmail as your default email address, you can just use it to access this service.  Emails may be sent to your NHS Mail address about the digital matex service.

    You can continue to use your current email address for all other communication.

    I cannot use NHSmail

    If you're not able to get or use an email address, you’ll need to continue sending the paper FW8 form on behalf of your patients.​​

    If you're changing roles or leaving the NHS

    If you no longer need to use the service email

    Information to give to mothers using the service

    Your digital maternity exemption certificate:

    • entitles you to free NHS prescriptions
    • proves you're entitled to free NHS dental treatment

    You should still complete the patient declaration to confirm you do not need to pay for your NHS prescriptions or dental treatment.

    Show the pharmacist or dentist your digital certificate on your smartphone or tablet, or take your printed hard copy with you. 

    Contact us if:

    • your midwife or GP completed your application more than 24 hours ago but you haven’t received your certificate by email – check your spam, junk or promotions folders first
    • you have lost or deleted your digital certificate
    • any of the details on your certificate are incorrect or have changed

    Telephone: 0300 330 1341