Hints and Tips for Dispensing Contractors-January 2024

Hints and Tips is a quarterly bulletin designed to help our dispensing contractors with their interaction with NHS Prescription Services.

Get Hints and Tips straight to your inbox and keep up to date with all the latest news by completing our online newsletter subscription form.

January 2024 - available online here

In this edition:

  • Half a million patients save money with HRT PPC
  • Digital HC2 certificates
  • Patient maternity exemption certificates
  • Can your patients claim free NHS prescriptions?
  • Recordkeeping for pharmaceutical service provision
  • MYS - GP pilot
  • MYS APIs for Pharmacy Contractors
  • Sign up for MYS - Pharmacy
  • Understanding your Schedule of Payments

Half a million patients save money with the HRT PPC

More than 500,000 HRT PPC have been purchased since the 1 April 2023 launch.

The certificate allows patients to access an unlimited number of listed HRT medicines over 12 months, for a one-off payment of £19.30. Patients save money with the certificate if they pay for more than two HRT prescriptions within 12 months.

You can play a vital role in raising awareness of the HRT PPC with patients.

Digital HC2 certificates

Changes are being made to the HC2 (full help) certificate.

The paper certificate will soon also be available digitally and receivable by email. This means that patients will be able to show their exemption certificate digitally when collecting their NHS prescriptions.

Pharmacy teams will be able to accept both the paper and digital HC2 certificates as proof of exemption from NHS charges, as long as the certificate is valid when patients collect their prescriptions.

Patient maternity exemption certificate

Patients who are pregnant or gave birth in the last 12 months are entitled to free NHS prescriptions with a maternity exemption certificate.

If your patient claims free prescriptions they’re not entitled to or don’t hold an exemption certificate, they could pay a penalty charge of up to £100.

You can help patients claim correctly by asking to see their exemption certificate.

Can your patients claim free NHS prescriptions?

We have created promotional materials to support patients on Universal Credit and other benefits to understand their eligibility for help with NHS health costs.

Only certain benefits entitle someone to claim free NHS prescriptions.

Patients can check they are eligible before claiming by using the eligibility checker at

If they aren’t entitled, the eligibility checker will show other help that may be available, such as the NHS Low Income Scheme or by buying a Prescription Prepayment Certificate.

Recordkeeping for pharmaceutical service provision

Our Provider Assurance team engage with a significant number of pharmacy contractors each year. During the team’s recent activities, some contractors have not been able to provide evidence to verify some or all of the claims for service delivery. This is because they have not maintained appropriate records of their service provision for the relevant retention period as specified within the service specification.

Contractors are reminded that records must be maintained in line with the service specification set out for each pharmaceutical service they are providing. The time that records must be kept may be set out in the service specification.

Record-keeping is an essential part of the service provision for clinical reasons and helps support activities like post-payment verification. The availability of sufficient records ensures the assurance process can be conducted efficiently. It reduces the risk of prolonged engagement with contractors, or in cases where service delivery cannot be verified, recovery of overpayments from contractors.

MYS - GP pilot

The NHSBSA has developed a GP portal within MYS to allow FP34D and FP34PD appendix forms to be submitted electronically.

The MYS GP portal reduces administrative burden by providing one portal to complete your digital submission. You are still required to send a paper FP34D or FP34PD submission document to the NHSBSA as normal.


MYS has a number of APIs available that can allow data to be sent automatically to fill in claim forms for payment.

APIs are available for:

  • NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)
  • Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Service
  • Covid-19 Vaccination Service
  • NHS Smoking Cessation Services (SCS)
  • NHS Community Pharmacy Contraception Service
  • NHS Community Pharmacy Hypertension Case-Finding Advanced Service

When declaring for all MYS services, the data being submitted must be checked to ensure this is accurate before you complete and submit the declaration. We cannot amend the data following the declaration.

For any queries regarding the API flow into MYS, please contact your IT system supplier to resolve prior to declaration.

Understanding your Schedule of Payments

Our payment information guidance helps Pharmacy Contractors and Appliance Contractors understand your Schedule of Payments.

First Published
1 February 2024
Updated On
1 February 2024
Due to be Reviewed
1 February 2026
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