The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is looking for midwives and healthcare professionals to take part in their pilot programme for digital maternity exemption certificates.

The digital scheme is a quicker and cheaper alternative to the paper FW8 application form for faster and easier access to maternity exemption for mums to be.  

Since its launch to a small pool of midwives in January 2017, the digital pilot has received over 40,000 applications. The NHSBSA are now looking for more midwives to join the pilot and try out the new service.

Pregnant mothers and women who have given birth in the last 12 months are entitled to free NHS dental treatment and NHS prescriptions with a valid maternity exemption certificate. The NHSBSA’s digital maternity exemption pilot ensures that women receive their certificate instantly.

There are currently over 2,000 midwives taking part in the digital pilot and out of an average of 460,000 annual maternity exemption certificate applications, around 13% are received via the digital route. The remaining 87% are received through a paper application form which mothers fill in and pass on to their GP or midwife to countersign and post. Mothers could wait weeks before receiving their certificate in the post as the forms are often sent in weekly batches.

How to sign up to the digital pilot:

Midwives and GPs can sign up to the pilot quickly and easily. For those who already have an existing nhs.net email address, they can use this to register and log in. This can be done by emailing nhsbsa.healthcosts@nhs.net and including:

  • name
  • NMC or GMC number
  • nhs.net email address

Amy Carss, Service Delivery Manager at NHSBSA said: “We have been working really hard on the development of this pilot and have been delighted with the success so far. 
The digital route holds many benefits for midwives and the women they look after, including instant exemption certificates and less administration work. We’re really encouraging midwives and GP’s to sign up to our digital pilot and spread the word within the community.

For more information about maternity exemption certificates or the digital pilot, visit https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/maternity-exemption-certificates

By Wallis Senior, NHS Business Services Authority

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