Association of Pharmacy
Technicians UK (APTUK)
The Professional Leadership Body for Pharmacy Technicians

Check Before You Tick Campaign

This September, NHS England and NHS Business Services Authority launched a new campaign, ‘Check Before You Tick’. The campaign will help patients understand their eligibility for free NHS prescriptions and how to claim correctly. It will also highlight the possible consequences of making an incorrect claim – a penalty charge of up to £100. 

Mistaken or fraudulent prescription claims cost the NHS an estimated £237 million each year. The NHS is significantly increasing the number of claims checked each month, so it’s important that we raise awareness of the need to check for entitlement using the improved online eligibility checker. 

The campaign will also encourage people who pay for their prescriptions to take advantage of other means of reducing costs, such as prepayment certificates and the NHS Low Income Scheme 

The campaign launched on  the 10th September and will run for 14 weeks  in England. The campaign will be using a mixture of radio, video on demand  and social media. In key areas there will also be additional media including  pharmacy bags and outdoor adverts. Campaign resources and the briefing paper have been sent to all  pharmacies in England. Additional  resources are  available to download from the Public HEALTH England Campaign Resource Centre:

About the online eligibility checker

The campaign will be encouraging patients to use an online eligibility checker. The checker will ask users to answer a few questions and will help them assess whether they should be paying for their prescriptions.  It’s easy to use and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.  
The online eligibility checker can be found here.

How can you support the campaign? 

  • Ensure the campaign included in the toolkit are displayed in a visible place in your pharmacy
  • Encourage patients to check their entitlement prior to making a claim/completing the declaration on the prescription 
  • Ask to see evidence of patients’ entitlement and check the expiry date on any certificates presented.  (If a patient can’t provide proof, mark the ‘Evidence not seen’ box on the prescription)
  • Remind those collecting prescriptions on someone else’s behalf to check the eligibility of the person they are claiming for before they tick
  • Advise patients who are unsure of their entitlement to pay for their prescription(s) and provide them with an FP57 along with information on how to claim a refund later. More information can be found at 
  • Inform the person claiming exemption from payment of NHS prescription charges (where evidence is required but not provided) that the NHS checks.
  • Advise patients on Universal Credit who meet the eligibility criteria to tick the income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance box on the back of the prescription. A prescription form with a tick box for Universal Credit will be ready soon.
  • Signpost patients currently paying for their prescriptions that they may benefit from buying a prescription prepayment certificate or applying for the NHS Low Income Scheme, where appropriate.
  • Ensure that the appropriate messages are given to those collecting prescriptions that have been sent electronically to the pharmacy 


You can follow the campaign on social media by searching on the hashtag #checkbeforeyoutick 


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