Real Time Exemption Checking - Department for Work and Pensions rollout complete

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) functionality has been successfully rolled out to all pharmacies using Real Time Exemption Checking (RTEC).

This means pharmacies using RTEC can now check if a patient is eligible for free NHS prescriptions against DWP exemptions.

RTEC is a technical solution that enables a pharmacy's PMR system to automatically check if a patient has a known exemption, and therefore does not have to pay for their NHS prescription. It uses data held by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) and DWP on people’s prescription charge exemption status.

More than 9,000 pharmacies are currently using RTEC. Pharmacies have reported that using RTEC saves staff time as patients do not need to complete the declaration on an EPS token when an exemption is found.

How to register

Before RTEC can be activated for an individual pharmacy, the pharmacy contractor must confirm that they agree to the terms of the RTEC user agreement.

The NHSBSA and PSNC are therefore recommending that all contractors complete this to avoid delays in their system supplier activating RTEC.

Pharmacy contractors need to complete the RTEC registration form on the NHSBSA Manage Your Service (MYS) application. Registration takes around five minutes.

Contractors already using RTEC should also confirm their acceptance of the user agreement if they have not already done so.

Pharmacies with many branches can submit a bulk declaration.

The NHSBSA has created a registration guide for pharmacy contractors.

Contact Information

Helen Johnston

Media and Campaigns Officer

NHS Business Services Authority