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Digital maternity exemption service

We're piloting the digital maternity exemption (matex) service, where healthcare professionals can complete a secure online application for their patients.

The new streamlined online service follows Government Digital Service (GDS) best practice design principles for ease of use, accessibility and security.

Mothers who are taking part in the pilot can get a digital certificate if they provide an email address. A mother will receive a certificate straight away, instead of having to wait for it to arrive by post.

She can show her digital certificate or print it, to prove entitlement to free NHS prescriptions and dental treatment.

Research shows us that many women wait for their certificate to arrive before getting the medication they need.

It can take over 2 weeks to receive the certificate through the post once we receive the paper application.

Using the digital matex service, the mother is exempt immediately so she won't need to wait to collect prescriptions or pay and claim a refund later.

There's no need to post applications. The digital service allows healthcare professionals to submit applications faster to us.

Reduce NHS costs; 965,625 matex application forms were issued in 2016 which cost the NHS £10,593.

The service is being used by healthcare professionals in over 100 locations across England.

Healthcare professionals can now receive real-time confirmation that the application has been successful, without the mother having to complete it.

If you want to find out more about saving NHS funds and gaining quicker access to free NHS prescriptions for your patients, contact us by:

Telephone: 0300 330 1341

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.
  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.
  2. The mother gets her certificate through the post within 10 working days.

Your digital maternity exemption certificate:

  • entitles you to free NHS prescriptions
  • can be used to prove you're entitled to free NHS dental treatment

You should complete the patient declaration to confirm you don't need to pay for your NHS prescriptions or dental treatment.

You can show the pharmacist or dentist your digital certificate on a smartphone or tablet or a printed hard copy.

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