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NHS prescription charges penalty notice

Discussion in 'Benefits' started by gazzab, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Grumpy ole thing

    Grumpy ole thing Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  2. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    NAPP the organisation for National Patient Participation Groups have today released a bulletin giving details of "fines".... This will go out to all GP Patient Groups that have joined. They mention diabetes.co.uk.

    They haven't got all the details correct so perhaps @Administrator or @Giverny could give them correct details... Ie they are charging for the cost of the medication as well and also that they are officially named as "penalty charges" and the full details of how these charges have been brought in.

    Or anybody else here could contact NAPP.org and put them right???
     
  3. sunshine84

    sunshine84 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi everyone, just wanted to let you all know I've had my penalty charge.notice cancelled. I'm not sure what action actually made this happen but I did send them a very angry email and asked my mp to intervene as well.
    The letter they have sent me informing of this descision is really patronising and full of inaccuracies such as 'you have been diabetic since 1989' - I haven't! They now seem to say they sent me a fine because the check in October had my old address on it - I didnt inform them of my new address until January so not sure how this works either.
    I dont really want to question them about it incase they find another reason to fine me but I will be continuing to discuss this matter with my mp as I feel it is a huge waste of nhs resources on something ridiculous.
    Good luck to everyone else who is challenging their penalty charge notice! :)

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
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  4. Grumpy ole thing

    Grumpy ole thing Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done Sunshine84 \o/
     
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  5. treborc

    treborc Type 2 · Member

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    Thank goodness the Welsh Assembly said it's free although with a grandson in College I'd get child credits but it's free in Wales.
     
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  6. andybates

    andybates Type 2 · Member

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    After some correspondence with them, I have had my fine (and a late surcharge) eased, though I still have to pay the prescription charge of about £16.00.

    I did some research on how they handled my request for an appeal and their insistence that they had no authority to exercise discretion in removing the penalty charge. I believe that their conduct is not compliant with Article Six of the Human Rights Act, in not allowing an independent appeal. All public authorities are required to abide by this, a great publication here... http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/human-rights/human-rights-handbook-for-public-authorities.pdf

    They also have a Freedom of Information Act reply at https://www.ppa.org.uk/NHSBSA_foiRequest/foiRequestDetail.do?bo_id=4939 that states that they had cases where an Easement applied, which contradicts them saying that they do not have any discretion!

    My email to them:

    Ref Prescription Charge Notice Ref: <blah>

    I write further regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice.

    I have found it difficult to deal with this matter, as the charge hit me at a time of significant financial stress that is taking some time to get on top of. The PCN has added to this stress, and I find it difficult to understand how the Health Service Organisation that is there to help me, at the same time adds to my stress and pressure with such a penalty without seemingly allowing me a right of appeal, allowing reasonable mitigation to be presented and independently assessed.

    Suffice to say, I now have renewed my Medical Exemption Certificate, no <blah>. I consider it a wrong the way the enforcement is capturing individuals on the technicality that their certificate has expired, or genuine misunderstanding of the rules, when those individuals are in genuine need of help and often less well placed to make or handle the penalty charge. There is a growing momentum of such cases on Internet forums to evidence this. I understand the need to mitigate genuinely fraudulent activity, however I fail to see how penalising those in genuine need and entitlement really achieves anything.

    In respect of my own notice, I was unable to make any interim payment within the initial period. I have found it difficult to try and reconcile the manner in which this matter is being handled against the need to make payment, and found myself very anxious in dealing with it. I have therefore received a further surcharge notice with a deadline to pay today.

    I wish to ask for the surcharge to be removed. I see little to be achieved by the surcharge process and consider that I have sufficient grounds to request it be removed and for an easement to be applied. You will see that I have now made an initial payment of £1.

    In respect of my initial request for appeal, and the assertion that "the NHSBSA does not have any authority to exercise discretion in removing penalty charges", this seems to conflict with a Freedom of Information response on the NHSBSA site, no 4939, http://www.ppa.org.uk/foidocs/responses/FOI_Request_(4939).txt

    This response notes that of 1,933 PCNs, 112 cases had an easement applied removing either the Surcharge, Penalty Charge, or both. Through what mechanism were these easements applied, and how can the NHSBSA state that they are unable to exercise discretion, when this FOI response seems to suggest the opposite?

    In addition to this, I do not believe that the NHSBSA is acting in compliance with Section six of the Human Rights Act in seemingly not allowing me the right of independent appeal. I have discussed this matter with legal advice and am attempting to obtain further legal advice on this matter. As an administrative authority of a Public Body, the NHSBSA is required to be compliant with the Human Rights Act. While NHSBSA are bound by the legislation (for PCNs), it also has to operate within all other legislation in force. In not allowing myself, and others, and appeal I do not believe this process is compliant with Section six, and brings into question the entire integrity of the operation by the NHSBSA in enforcing the PCN legislation.

    There is a useful handbook for public authorities (and agencies of) in respect of the Human Rights Act at http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/human-rights/human-rights-handbook-for-public-authorities.pdf .

    I apologise for the delay in following up on this, I have found it very difficult to deal with matter and the way in which it is being handled. Would you please consider the above and reply further.


    =================================================

    They haven't made any comment on my points, have just eased my fine.
    I believe their conduct is on dodgy grounds in respect of appeals and the Human Rights Act.
     
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    #86 andybates, Mar 10, 2015 at 11:33 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2015
  7. andybates

    andybates Type 2 · Member

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    Can you send your MP details of http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/human-rights/human-rights-handbook-for-public-authorities.pdf and inform him that NHSBSA are not exempt from the requirements of section Six, and see what he says.
     
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    #87 andybates, Mar 10, 2015 at 11:40 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2015
  8. elaipri1

    elaipri1 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Same here in Wales. I use to have an excemption card back in 1980 when I aquired an underactive thyroid but all prescriptions are now free in Wales so I guess we are really lucky. If this stops then I will have to apply for the excemption card again as I have Type 1 diabetes, asthma, sarcoidosis, acute Rhinitis, Erythemanodosum, underactive thyroid, amongst other minor things all of which I would find difficult to pay for every month but for now its pretty easy.
     
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  9. elaipri1

    elaipri1 Type 1 · Newbie

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    I always renewed mine when I had 1 .
     
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  10. elaipri1

    elaipri1 Type 1 · Newbie

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    How woukd you get child tax credits for a grandchild? He must be living with you for you to claim !
     
  11. Smitten73

    Smitten73 Parent · Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.. I'm entitled to free prescriptions for life because I have an ostomy. I had a letter from my Ostomy supply company today saying they needed to see proof that I'm entitled to them. They apologised saying they know that I get them free because of my lifelong condition, but they still needed to see proof. My MEDICAL exemption card expired years ago and I forgot to renew, but luckily I am entitled on my tax credit exemption card (which of course, I've lost, doh!) A frantic phone call to the nhs means I'll have my new card in 7-10 days. Phew.
     
  12. autoimmune chrissy

    autoimmune chrissy Type 1 · Active Member

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    5stars for u then
     
  13. Dcooperxyz

    Dcooperxyz Type 1 · Member

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    Dear all,
    Common sense has prevailed please see below from Diabetes UK. The fines are being cancelled and all money refunded>

    Dear Darren,

    We have some good news to share with you!

    Over the past week we have received two letters from Health Minister Dan Poulter.

    He has instructed the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) to change the way penalty charges are issued to people without medical exemption certificates and confirmed that penalty charges will be cancelled or refunded to people as long as they get a medical exemption certificate within 60 days of being contacted.

    From March 17 any penalty charges issued by the NHS BSA will be cancelled if people apply for a valid medical exemption certificate within 60 days of receiving the letter.

    The NHS BSA will be writing to anyone who was issued with a penalty charge between 17 September 2014 and 17 March 2014. Anyone who has paid a penalty charge will be able to get it paid back if they have already got a medical exemption certificate or if they apply for one within 60 days of being contacted. Any outstanding penalty charges will be cancelled if people have a medical exemption certificate or get one within 60 days of receiving the letter.

    We have not been given any timescales by the NHS BSA but if you were unable to get the penalty charge waived then you will be receiving a letter from them shortly.

    Prescription charges will not be refunded and people will still be required to pay for prescriptions if they are issued with a penalty charge under the new system. This is because it is written into legislation and we are wary that any change in the law might risk reducing the amount of people who are entitled to free prescriptions. This is not something anyone is considering but it is why we won’t be campaigning for a change in the law.

    One thing that has remained the same is the need for a medical exemption certificate if you are in England, aged between 18 and 60, and taking medication for your diabetes. Hopefully you have now got a certificate but if you haven’t then you need to ask your GP’s surgery for form FP92A.

    If you have paid a penalty charge please let us know when you receive a letter from the NHS BSA. We are keen to make sure everyone who has paid a penalty charge gets their money back.

    Finally, thank you! People with diabetes who were affected by this helped us convince the Government to sort it out. Even by just writing to us about your experiences you gave us a real insight to the problems people with diabetes were facing. The amount of people who wrote to their MP, tweeted Dan Poulter or complained to the NHS BSA put them in a position where they couldn’t ignore us anymore. Thanks!

    If you have any questions about the changes do email us or give us a ring.

    Best wishes,

    Luke Thorne & Heather Bird

    Policy and Public Affairs Team

    [​IMG]


    T+44 (0)20 7424 1858 |F+44 (0)20 7424 1001

    Epolicy@diabetes.org.uk |W www.diabetes.org.uk

    Facebook www.facebook.com/diabetesuk |Twitter www.twitter.com/diabetesuk
     
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  14. Xxlisaxx

    Xxlisaxx Type 1 · Newbie

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    I got one too, I've been diabetic type 1 for 30 years! They demanded ONE PRESCRIOTION CHARGE of the £8 and £40 fine! I rang them, I have claimed free prescriptions under the exemption rule for 30 years!!!

    They waived it immediately!
    Told me doctors do not remind patients to renew ever five year OR apply automatically?!!!!! So I should owe them thousands and thousands really then!!!!!?

    I was issued mine when I was 16 and I have NEVER had a reminder to renew it and never ever paid, this charge was for one from November 2014! Lol crazy?

    They were lovely on phone and said not to worry, ask Gap surgery for an exemption application form and doctors will send it off after signing it! Ridiculous!ive also heard a lot of people are getting these dos they don't even know you should review every 5 years!!!
     
  15. Xxlisaxx

    Xxlisaxx Type 1 · Newbie

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    In my case, none of the above is true!
    I got a penalty noticein February 2015,,, one prescription charge plus £40 fine... Rang them and explained I had been getting prescriptions for over 20 years and ticked that box,,, I was rushed to hospital with severe pain and symptoms the doctor kept saying I had a virus... Blood sugar test 36.2,,, he sent me home!!!!
    I didn't know then it was high,,,,
    Anyway, hospital, coma, eventually diagnosed with type 1 and was told to tick exemption on all prescriptions,,, I have never actually ever had an exemption cert.?!?!?!?!!!!!

    I rang them, they waived every penny immediately and told me how to apply for exemption certificate! They were very helpful x
     
  16. stuarth30

    stuarth30 Type 2 · Newbie

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    What if you don't have one do you still have to pay
     
  17. Nicola M

    Nicola M Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the medial exemption card is no one tells you about them or that you actually need to apply for one in the first place. Most pharmacies just tell you to tick the exemption box and let you be on your way because they know you get free prescriptions anyway. Thankfully I do have a card thanks to this forum, but I have only been asked for it once out of about 10 times I have been whilst I have had the card. Renewing the card every 5 years is ridiculous, we should be entitled to a lifetime exemption card.
     
  18. Dcooperxyz

    Dcooperxyz Type 1 · Member

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    All fines are being refunded and everyone should be getting a letter saying that. i got mine today. You have 60 days to get a replacement card. DONT PAY THE FINE, it is officially cancelled.
     
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  19. denbo

    denbo · Well-Known Member

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    Ask the docs for a renewal form before it runs out
     
  20. Celeriac

    Celeriac Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed Type 2 in 2007. No-one at the surgery told me that I was entitled to free prescriptions with a medical exemption certificate, so I paid for prescriptions from 2007 - 2011 before I found out about it online somehow.When I asked for the form, they had them under the reception counter. I'm now really surprised that the pharmacy staff charged me. Metformin is used for PCOS too but all the others I've had over the years were only diabetes drugs.
     
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