Care Leaver Prescription Pre-Payment Certificate | Latest updates

Care Leaver Prescription Pre-Payment Certificate

Two young people having a discussion with an older man and woman

From 1 April 2024, NHS Northamptonshire ICB will be running a one-year pilot scheme funding prepayment prescription certificates for care experienced young people (care leavers) aged 16 to 25 years who are not entitled to free prescriptions under current NHS exemptions.

Across Northamptonshire there is a strong commitment from agencies to deliver a consistently high-quality core offer of support for care experienced young people.  This cohort of young people are known to experience additional challenge in terms of both health and well-being and financial disadvantage. Provision of free prescriptions for this vulnerable group will support both access to healthcare and a reduction in health inequalities, and reflects the goals and priorities set out by NHS Northamptonshire ICB.

Challenge in accessing appropriate healthcare and treatment can be compounded by the financial struggles experienced as young people leaving care face additional inequalities such as the financial constraints which may result as they move into independent living. Many of these young people do not have access to funds from extended family supporting them with daily living costs; the additional cost of a prescription may cause further financial hardship and may result in the prescription not being collected and health needs not being met.

The funding for this pilot has been provided by the NHSE Universal Family Programme to support care experienced young people aged 16 – 25 by removing financial barriers and supporting them to step into employment.


The current list of those exempt from prescription charges are listed below:

  • Aged 16 – 18 in full time education.
  • Who have a medical condition for which all prescriptions are free.
  • Who are pregnant or who have had a baby in the last 12 months.
  • On a low income (including students).
  • Who are (or are the partner of someone) in receipt of certain benefits. including Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or Tax Credit.

If the young person is eligible for free prescriptions under one of the above criteria, they may also be exempt from other charges, such as dental treatment charges.

Care experienced young people who do not meet any of these criteria and who are therefore not already eligible for free prescriptions may apply for a prepayment certificate through the NHS Northamptonshire ICB pilot scheme.

How do I apply?
Anyone can apply on behalf of a care experienced young person, including employers, young people themselves and leaving care workers/Personal advisors.  Northamptonshire Children’s Trust Leaving Care Team  is able to assist care leavers to identify whether they are already entitled to free prescriptions and support in the completion of the relevant application form.

Application form for Prepayment Prescriptions for Care Leavers.docx [docx] 28KB


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