NHS Campaign To Reduce Fraudulent Prescription Claims
Plans to put a stop to fraudulent prescription claims by the NHS have been made. The campaign, labeled ‘Check Before You Tick’ was launched on Monday the 10th of September. This scheme is aimed at encouraging patients to check if they qualify for free prescriptions prior to claiming them. The NHS, supported by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) are behind the campaign.
The NHS targets to reduce the £256 million cost it incurs every year when people incorrectly claim free prescriptions. The incorrect claims add pressure to the NHS which is already experiencing because of medical negligence claims. Anyone claiming a free prescription incorrectly may end up receiving a penalty charge of up to £100. This is from the NHS Business Services Authority that checks the prescriptions every month.
Apparently, health chiefs in East Lancashire are behind the campaign. One Dr Paul Fourie of Witton Medical Centre in Blackburn, when supporting the campaign also requested for the simplification of the prescription system. According to him, prescriptions in Scotland and Wales are free yet it differs for people in England. In England, some people pay while others don’t.
In his call for a simplification, Dr Fourie suggested two measures, one being to make the prescriptions free for every one or alternatively, charge everyone at the same rate. He felt such changes could simplify the prescription system, relatively minimising the confusion. It is believed that this confusion leads to people claiming for a free prescription.
Another medical expert, Dr David Wrigley a Carnforth GP, who is also a Lancashire’s representative on the British Medical Association as he backed the campaign as well said that there is no harm in sensitising the patients about prescriptions. According to the GP, patients need to know whether they are or not are eligible for free prescriptions.
The campaign looks into making people aware of the entitlement to free prescriptions. A Cllr Munsif Dad said that there are people who genuinely don’t know if they’re eligible for free prescriptions or not. This Cllr Dad who is the health boss of Hyndburn had an opinion that closely resembled that of Dr Fourie of Witton Medical Centre. He said the law should apply for everyone. Looking at Cllr Dad’s comments, one can see that he also supports the move to clampdown on fraudulent prescription claims that face the NHS.
Currently, the patients who qualify for the free prescriptions include all under 16 years of age, those in full time education and are between 16 and 18 as well as those over 60 years. Cllr Dad raises a concern about a law and procedure that affect the free prescriptions as he agreed that citizens on low income should get them.
Together with medical negligence, these fraudulent prescription and other claims, costs the NHS millions each year according to the head of loss recovery services of the NHSBSA.
There’s an online tool of course, by the campaign that patients can access and understand all about the eligibility of the free prescriptions. This involves, the criteria used by the government. Pharmacists on the other hand will get posters, communications toolkit, as well as point of sale materials to explain the rules which they will display in their pharmacies.