Digital Matex March 2020-3

Midwives, practice nurses and health visitors can sign up to issue digital maternity exemption certificates to ensure mothers instantly receive their certificate

The NHSBSA is encouraging midwives to sign up to the digital service to help reduce the waiting time for paper applications to be processed in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Pregnant mothers and women who have given birth in the last 12 months are entitled to free NHS dental treatment and NHS prescriptions with a valid maternity exemption certificate.

The NHSBSA’s digital maternity exemption service ensures that women receive their certificate instantly. Registration takes less than five minutes and mothers will get their digital exemption certificate straight away if they've provided an email address.

To register visit:

55,000 maternity exemption applications have already been made through our digital service. Out of an average of 460,000 annual maternity exemption certificate applications, around 28% are received via the digital route.

The remaining 72% are received through a paper application form which mothers fill in and pass on to their GP or midwife to countersign and post. Mothers could wait weeks before receiving their certificate in the post as the forms are often sent in weekly batches.

Brendan Brown, Director of Citizen Services said:  “We want all pregnant woman and new mums in England to be issued with a maternity exemption certificate and are encouraging as many midwives as possible to register to use the service so their patients can use their maternity exemption certificate straight away, and avoid having to pay prescriptions charges and NHS dental treatment.

“We want to make sure our services continue to run as effectively as possible. It only takes 5 minutes for midwives, practice nurses and health visitors to register to use the service and new or expectant mothers can be issued with a digital exemption certificate.”

How to sign up to the digital maternity exemption service:

Midwives, practice nurses or health visitors registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) can now register online to issue maternity exemption certificates on behalf of new or expectant mothers by visiting

To help us verify your professional identity, you’ll need:

  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • NHSmail address and password

For more information about maternity exemption certificates visit:

Contact Information

Stephanie Henderson

NHS Business Services Authority