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Digital maternity exemption service

We’re piloting digital maternity exemption certificates with a small group of midwives, GPs and their patients.

Patients who are taking part in the pilot can receive their digital certificate by email, instead of a plastic card through the post.

When they collect their prescriptions or claim free dental treatment, they can show the email on a mobile device or print a copy to prove their entitlement.

After positive feedback from the midwives and patients already using the digital service, we’re looking to increase the number of midwives and GP practices in our pilot group.

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

Telephone: 0300 330 1341

  • 75% of patients receive their digital certificate within 24 hours of beginning their application but it can take up to two weeks to receive the plastic card after the paper application has been received
  • 965,625 FW8 application forms were issued in 2016, which cost the NHS £10,593
  • In 2016, it cost the NHS £194,522 to issue over 460,000 plastic cards
  • It takes up to 500 years for a plastic card to degrade

If the patient provides an email address

  1. The healthcare professional completes the online application form’s mandatory fields. The other fields are optional – if not completed at this stage, the patient will be asked to complete them.
  2. The patient receives an email, which includes a link to the partially completed application. She clicks on the link and enters her date of birth, then completes and submits the application.
  3. The patient receives her digital certificate by email.

If the patient doesn’t provide an email address

  1. The healthcare professional completes all sections of the online application form.
  2. The patient receives a plastic card through the post within 10 working days.

Your digital maternity exemption certificate entitles you to free NHS prescriptions. You can also use it to prove that you’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment while you’re pregnant and for 12 months after your baby is born.

When you show your digital certificate at the pharmacy or dental practice, it’s up to you whether you show the email (or a screenshot of the email) on your phone or tablet, or a printed copy.

Contact us if:

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

Telephone: 0300 330 1341