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64,000 NHS medical exemption certificate expiry dates extended

The Department of Health and Social Care have agreed to extend all NHS medical exemption certificates which are due to expire between 14 December 2021 and 1 March 2022 for a further six months from the current date of expiry.

This is to help reduce the workload for GP practices during the COVID-19 vaccination booster programme.

We have written to all patients with existing medical exemption certificates that are due to expire in the given timeframe to tell them about this decision. They will also receive a new certificate with the revised expiry date in the post before the end of January 2022.

Patients have been advised that if their current certificate expires before they receive the new certificate, they can continue to collect their NHS prescriptions for free by showing their letter from us. This means pharmacy teams can accept the letter as proof of exemption to receive free NHS prescriptions.

In addition, pharmacy teams using Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC) can continue to check the system to verify patient exemption.