Prescription charges, prepayment certificates and prescription forms

Prescription charges, prepayment certificates and prescription forms: save money and time

Resident in England and paying for your NHS prescription? Investigate the NHS prescription prepayment certificate.

If you need more than three prescribed items in three months or more than 12 items per year, which is very likely with birdshot, prepayment certificates will save you money. You can use the prepayment certificate for all your NHS prescriptions, whether from a hospital or from your GP.

For further details go to

Different kinds of NHS prescription forms: where they can and cannot be dispensed

Because of the way the NHS is financed, there are rules on where different
prescription forms can be dispensed. Knowing these rather confusing rules
may save you problems, frustration, wasted journeys and the danger of
running out of medicines.

  • GP prescriptions can be dispensed at community pharmacies but not
    at hospital pharmacies.
  • Hospital prescriptions, written on special hospital forms which do not look like GP
    prescriptions, can be dispensed only at the hospital pharmacy in the
    hospital where they were written.
  • Some hospitals issue prescriptions on forms that look like GP
    prescription forms, but which are a different colour. These can be
    dispensed by a community pharmacy but not by the hospital

What to do if you are running short of hospital-dispensed medicines

This can happen if your next appointment date is changed.

  • Find out and make a note of who you need to contact at the hospital to arrange to get a prescription for an extra supply.
  • When you make your request, you also need to ask them: is my prescription going to be on the kind of form that I take to a community pharmacy, or do I have to come back to the hospital to get it dispensed?
  • You need to know this so you can save yourself time and a possible wasted journey.

Don’t leave it too late to make your request for an extra prescription.

If the hospital sends you the kind of prescription form that you have to take to a community pharmacy, remember that the pharmacy may have to order your medicines for you. This usually takes only a day, but you need to allow for this, as it can cause you a further delay before you receive your medicines.

Published by Birdshot Uveitis Society. Revised March 2022.