Skip to main content Skip to footer

Digital maternity exemption service

If you're a midwife, practice nurse or health visitor you can now register online to issue maternity exemption certificates on behalf of new or expectant mothers.
Mothers will get their digital exemption certificate straight away if they've given you an email address. 

Register to use the service

To register online to use the maternity exemption certificate service, you must be:
  • a midwife, practice nurse or health visitor 
  • registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) 
  • able to access an NHSmail address

Sign in to the service

If you've already registered to use this service you can sign in to start issuing certificates.

You'll need your NHSmail address and password to sign in.

Sign in

I'm a GP registered with the General Medical Council (GMC)

Due to the way we currently verify healthcare professionals, GPs cannot self-register online for this service. If you're a GP, you can still use the online service, but we will handle your registration.

To get registered, email and include your:

  • name
  • GMC number
  • NHSmail address (an email address ending with

We'll use these details to check your professional identity.

Once we've confirmed your identity, we'll register you and send you the login details. You'll then be able to issue maternity exemption certificates on behalf of your patients.

Signing in with NHSmail

To use the online maternity exemption service you'll need to sign in using your NHSmail username and password. Accessing the service using NHSmail means you can easily:

•     change and reset the password on your account

•     change your account details

I've already registered without NHSmail

As part of our digital pilot, we allowed a small group of users to register for and sign in to the service without an NHSmail address. As NHSmail now forms part of our verification process, all users need to use NHSmail to register and sign in.

If you've already registered for the maternity exemption service with a non-NHSmail email address, you now have two options:

  1. Join NHSmail and register for this service using your address
  2. Complete FW8 paper applications and post them back to us

I do not have an NHSmail address

If you do not have an NHSmail address (an email ending with read more on the NHSmail website about 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 NHSmail address about this 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 NHSmail 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

Digital process - if the mother 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.

Digital process - if the mother 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.

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

Find out about call charges