A maternity exemption certificate entitles you to free NHS prescriptions.

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

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

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

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.

Apply for a certificate online

Your doctor, midwife, or health visitor can apply online on your behalf.

We'll arrange for your certificate to be sent to your email address within 24 hours of the application being submitted.

Unable to apply online

If your doctor, midwife, or health visitor is unable to apply online, they must submit an FW8 application form.

We'll arrange for your certificate to be posted to you within 10 working days of receiving your application.

Collecting a prescription before your certificate arrives

If you need an NHS prescription before your maternity exemption certificate 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 certificate.

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