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NHS Help with Health Costs: Official Statistics Release

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has published the latest official statistics for NHS Help with Health Costs.

The new report provides data on six schemes administered by the NHSBSA to help people with their health costs.

Covering the period from 2018/19 to 2023/24, the report provides information including the number of applications submitted and certificates issued, as well as demographic information about the people who receive a certificate.

Key findings:

  • Maternity exemption certificates:

The number of certificates issued has risen each year since 2020/21. There were 552,000 maternity exemption certificates issued in 2023/24.

  • Medical exemption certificates:

The number of certificates issued has risen following a drop between 2019/20 and 2021/22. There were 475,000 medical exemption certificates issued in 2023/24.

  • NHS tax credit exemption certificates:

The number of certificates has been declining for a number of years. As part of the Universal Credit rollout people are being migrated away from tax credits and onto new benefit schemes. In 2023/24, 1.2 million certificates were issued, compared to 3.7 million in 2018/19.

  • NHS Low Income Scheme:

The number of applications submitted and certificates issued in 2023/24 decreased slightly from 2022/23, but is higher than the two years prior. There were 161,000 HC2 certificates and 87,000 HC3 certificates issued in 2023/24.

  • NHS Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)

The number of PPCs purchased has increased over the past five years. In 2023/24 there were 2.1 million 12-month certificates issued and 936,000 3-month certificates issued.

  • NHS Hormone Replacement Therapy Prescription Prepayment Certificate (HRT PPC)

The HRT PPC was launched on 1 April 2023, with 131,000 certificates being issued in the first month. This represents 23% of the 566,000 certificates issued in 2023/24.

To access the full publication, go to Help with Health Costs - England 2023/24 | NHSBSA

Contact Information

Helen Johnston

Media and Campaigns Officer

NHS Business Services Authority

communicationsteam@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Notes to editors

Data covers the financial years 2018/2019 to 2023/24, where the financial year runs from April 1 to March 31.

Figures should not be interpreted as numbers of people as a unique individual could be represented multiple times.

Full details of these schemes are available on the NHS Help with Health Costs webpage.