You’re entitled to a MATEX if at the time of your application:

  • you’re pregnant
  • you’ve given birth in the last 12 months

A MATEX entitles you to free NHS prescriptions.

If you've been issued with a temporary visa to live in the UK, you may have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge to access NHS services. If you need to pay depends on the immigration status you’re applying for.

How to apply

Your midwife, GP or health visitor must complete an application for you.

They can complete an FW8 application form or use the digital maternity exemption service.

If they use the digital maternity exemption service, you’ll receive your MATEX by email once they’ve completed your application.

If they complete the FW8 application form, you’ll receive your paper MATEX within 10 working days of us receiving a completed application.

You cannot change the type of certificate after applying.

We’ll backdate your certificate to start one month before the date we received your application.

If you need an NHS prescription before your MATEX arrives, you must pay and ask the pharmacy for an FP57 receipt. You can use this to apply for a refund once you receive your MATEX.

If you become pregnant whilst holding a valid MATEX, you must reapply as certificates cannot be extended.

Your midwife, GP or health visitor must return the completed FW8 application form to:


NHS Business Services Authority
Maternity Exemption Certificates
Bridge House
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne


The regional department within the Practitioner Services Division of NHS National Services Scotland


Your Local Health Board (LHB)

Northern Ireland

The HC11A application form is sent to the Business Services Organisation (HSC)

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