NHS Prescription penalty charge

Does anyone know if there is a right of appeal for an NHS penalty charge?

I can’t find any info on the letter,i couldn’t get an answer when i phoned last week.

It should be on the letter I would think.

Section 122B (7)(b)
7.6 The Act provides that a patient is not liable for a penalty charge if they can show that they did not act wrongfully, or with any lack of care, in respect of the payment in question.


We have been on working tax credits for 13 years so have been getting free prescriptions since then.

Last week got a letter asking for prescription fee i had in September to be paid with a £42 fine.
Today just recieved another for Octorber,they will be another 8 prescription fines,plus the price of 2 eye tests plus i’am guessing the full price of the lens/glasses with 2 more £42 fines,as well as dentists.

I phoned them last week,and the only thing she could see was that we might be earning over £15,250 between us,which it seems is the cut off point for getting help.

I wasn’t aware,and we didn’t get any notification from either the NHS or the working tax credits.

Of course if we had known last April it had been stopped,we wouldn’t have ticked the box on the back.

After having a tot up,it looks like they will be after a grand or more in fines etc.

The clause I quoted should free you from the fines, although the charges will stand, I guess, if you are in that bracket. I don’t know the rules.

For the future, get a prepayment certificate - for £100 or so you get all prescriptions free. That’s saved me a fortune!

How long does the prepayment last?

If your income just nudged over the £15,250 but you didn’t realise, then I would hope you can appeal successfully - how do you know how much your income will be until the end of the year?

Another shitty government system where earning an extra quid can cost you a fortune, it seems.

It’s £104 per year, and you can pay monthly

I always presumed if you were on working tax credit you got free prescriptions.

They took the figure from last April back to April 15,so guessing we will get hit with anything NHS related from then.

Happy to pay them back the £8.40 for each one,but the £42 fine on each one is a joke.

Basically,we are better off to earn just under the £15,250,or one of us not work.

Unfortunately, ignorance is no defence. You have a good case for appeal if your income is close to the amount or was below in the prior year.

When on Tax Credits you get an NHS exemption card/certificate, if you qualify, and when this runs out you get a new one unless you don’t qualify.

Yes,we have had cards each year,just would have thought you would get a letter warning it had stopped.

The chemist,dentists and opticians have never asked to see them in the 13 years.
Didn’t even think by not getting new cards not arriving meant they had stopped the support.

Seems we earnt £400 over the set amount.

If you expect your income to be lower this year you can give an estimate to have it recalculated but they will only start decreasing the figure they use if the decrease to your income is more than £2500.

I don’t think the dentist etc have a clue and just accept what people say. The whole thing is complicated as fuck.

At present it will be the same,annoyingly i just had new glasses and eye test.If i known about this i would have stayed with my old ones and not bothered.

As i said earlier,if they had just sent a bog standard letter last April saying from now on you won’t get help with prescriptions i wouldn’t have a problem.

They seem to have no problems getting the penalty fine letters out ok.

Oh well,i never liked these speakers :upside_down:

Contacted the NHS today to see if an appeal is possible.

There is none but the penalty charges have been frozen for 30 days.I have to fill in a HC1 form/Low income scheme,and possibly the fines will be waived depending on how they deem our funds.

Thanks for advice.

just a thought, if they do proceed with the fine then your local MP can be of help.

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Yes,also tried contacting citizen advice about this and a bank charge issue.
Couldn’t get through,but will try them again next week.

Quick update,just lost the 2 penalty charge apeals,and just got a 3rd.

Seems we have an;

Excess income of £41.80 a week.

The govenrnment says you need to live on £114.85 pw

Would the excess ‘income’ be taken up by the prescription charges?

I phoned them up and said that,was a bit pointless.
Some poor sod at nhs newcastle,just got a bit of an earful.