Released Prisoner Prescription
Q. I have had a prescription from a patient who has just been released from prison, can I dispense the prescription and does the patient have to pay?
A. Yes you can dispense the prescription as long as it meets the standard legal prescription requirements, although there are specific considerations regarding the prescription that impact whether the patient is required to pay prescription charges or not.
Prisoners released from prison who require medicines on release, can be issued with a prescription by the prison medical team to ensure they have access to these medicines until they can arrange to see their GP or register with a new practitioner.
Released prisoners will not be expected to pay for prison issued prescriptions, provided the following details are included in the box provided for the practice address on the prescription:
- HMP and the prison name
- Prison address
- Prison switchboard telephone number
- The prescriber code with the local area team code as required by the NHSBSA
The patient (released prisoner) does not need to sign the declaration on the back of the prescription form although they should print their name and address (if different from the front of the form). Patients who are homeless can use the term “No fixed abode” when completing the declaration.
Pharmacy contractors can confirm the legitimacy of a prison issued prescription by contacting the Healthcare Manager at the prison. The telephone number can be obtained independently from the prescription either through directory enquiries or the government website.
The prison healthcare team are encouraged to ensure that where prisoners require supervised consumption of methadone or buprenorphine the pharmacy is contacted to confirm they are happy to provide the service prior to the prisoner presenting a prescription.
Released prisoners who have medication prescribed by their GP, or any other prescriber, would need to satisfy standard exemption criteria and will not be automatically exempt from prescription charges by virtue of being a released prisoner.
Prison issued prescriptions should be submitted for payment in the same manner as a standard exempt prescription with the forms sorted as described on the FP34C submission document (i.e. by form type, prescriber type).
If you have any questions about this particular tip or any other drug tariff query you can call Information Services on 0800 783 5709.
Tariff Tip written by Sue Swift, UK Drug Tariff and Information Technician
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