Prescriptions: Fees and Charges:Written question - 37876

Q
Asked by Jeff Smith
(Manchester, Withington)
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Asked on: 23 May 2016
Department of Health
Prescriptions: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many fines have been issued for claiming free prescriptions without a valid exemption certificate in each (a) month and (b) year since the NHS Business Services Authority began checking eligibility for free prescriptions in September 2014.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 26 May 2016

Since September 2014, when the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) took on responsibility for the service, a total of 747,790 penalty charge notices have been issued where someone claimed exemption on the basis that they held a valid exemption certificate but this could not be verified by the NHSBSA. A further 278,053 surcharge letters have been issued to follow up on penalty charge notices which have not been resolved through payment, cancellation (due to correction of erroneous information, for example) or waiving of the penalty charge. The annual and monthly breakdown is set out below.

Annual breakdown of Penalty Charges Notices and Surcharge letters

Penalty Charge Notices

Surcharge letters

September 2014 – December 2014

59,564

20,562

January 2015 – December 2015

430,971

171,065

January 2016 – April 2016

257,255

86,426

Total

757,790

278,053

Monthly breakdown of Penalty Charge Notices and Surcharge letters

Penalty Charge Notices

Surcharge letter

September 2014

5,298

1,733

October 2014

5,007

1,697

November 2014

23,511

8,344

December 2014

25,748

8,788

January 2015

53,668

11,445

February 2015

21,706

7,969

March 2015

15,316

6,182

April 2015

12,687

5,032

May 2015

20,122

8,189

June 2015

22,472

8,984

July 2015

18,249

6,550

August 2015

39,626

17,282

September 2015

57,661

24,634

October 2015

56,952

25,075

November 2015

64,573

28,655

December 2015

47,939

21,068

January 2016

82,881

36,766

February 2016

55,650

24,079

March 2016

49,767

20,340

April 2016

68,957

5,241

Total

747,790

278,053

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