How to avoid an NHS fine – Ultimate Patient Guide

How to avoid an NHS fine – Ultimate patient guide

The patient is responsible for the accuracy of the form completed for NHS dental treatment and determining whether they are entitled to free treatment. They must provide truthful and complete information on the form, and any false information provided could result in penalties and legal consequences. It is important for patients to read the information given in the form carefully and seek assistance from dental professionals or other relevant authorities if they are unsure about their eligibility or the information required for the form.

The Dental Exemption Checking Service has identified a number of patients aged 60 and over are incorrectly claiming free NHS dental treatment, due to confusion around benefits entitlement, specifically Pension Credit. This currently only applies to dentists in England.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions national statistics, there were over 1.4 million people in England receiving Pension Credit in August 2022. Not all benefits entitle people to free prescriptions. Patients can find out if they’re entitled to free NHS dental treatment and help with other NHS costs by following the link below

NHS online eligibility checker.

How to avoid an NHS fine – Ultimate patient guide. If you are not sure please check and confirm before you visit.

Surgery staff are unfortunately not able to complete or give advice to patients or relatives  as to if your exemption entitles you to free NHS treatment.  Patients should satisfy themselves that they are exempt before completing the form. The NHS checking system is an automated process and fines are issued automatically by the NHS. If a fine has been issued please contact the NHS on the details provided in the letter and not the surgery.  Fines are not issued by the surgery and can not be reversed by the surgery once issued by the NHS.

Who can challenge an NHS Fine ?

You can only make a challenge if you:

  • Were entitled to claim free NHS prescriptions or free or reduced-cost NHS dental treatment, or you had a valid prescription prepayment certificate at the time
  • Think you have an exceptional reason not to pay, and can show that you did not act wrongfully or with any lack of care
  • The NHS will not usually accept a challenge if your exemption certificate had expired, or you feel that you were misadvised by your doctor, dentist or pharmacy or supporting staff.

Useful Patient Links 

NHS guide dont get caught out 

Penalty Charges Explained

Challenge or Pay your Fine 

NHS Eligibility Checker

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