Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find my local Well branch?
To find your local Well, go to our branch locator and enter your postcode or location.
I wish to speak to somebody, who can I contact?
Well is fully committed to providing the highest standards of customer care and our aim is to ensure you are fully satisfied with the service you have received. We welcome feedback on the standard of service provided. Contact our Customer Care Team on 0333 010 2222 to speak to a member of our Customer Care Team.
Can I see the Terms and Conditions?
Please click here to see our Terms and Conditions.
What is the difference between an NHS prescription and a private prescription?
An NHS prescription is issued by a National Health Service (NHS) prescriber on an NHS prescription form. If you carry an exemption then the prescription is free. Alternatively, you can purchase a Prescription Pre-payment Certificate. If neither of these applies to you then you must pay a set fee per item in England. The prescription charge is a tax contribution to the NHS and is paid to the Department of Health. It is not a payment to the pharmacy nor does it bear any relationship to the cost of the medicine.
A private prescription is issued by a private prescriber or by your NHS prescriber if your treatment is not available under the NHS. The prescriber may also charge you for writing a private prescription. You will always be charged for a private prescription as it is not covered by any of the NHS exemptions. The charge will include the cost of the medicine. Our minimum private prescription charge is £4.90.
How can I tell if I have an NHS or private prescription?
An NHS prescription will have the NHS logo clearly visible on the front (see images below). On the reverse of the prescription will be a form to capture details of any exemptions applicable. Please select the links below to view PDF documents of an NHS prescription.
What is a veterinary prescription?
A veterinary prescription is a private prescription issued by a veterinary surgeon to treat an animal.
What is the difference between a repeat prescription and a one-off prescription?
A repeat prescription is issued by a prescriber when you are taking regular medication for conditions like asthma, diabetes or high blood pressure, or when you're taking a regular contraceptive etc. If you are on repeat medication your GP will usually issue a prescription to you without seeing you each time. This may be a batch of prescriptions covering several months or you may be ordering your prescription by:
• completing a repeat order slip each time.
• contacting your surgery.
• using your current pharmacy, who will be checking with you and ordering on your behalf.
Periodically your GP will then ask you to make an appointment to review your medication.
A one-off prescription is issued by a prescriber for a specific medical condition where you will only be taking the medication for a short period of time. This might be to provide some pain relief or antibiotics to treat an infection.
Do you dispense prescriptions from the European Economic Area (EEA)?
It may be possible to supply medication requested on a prescription issued by a doctor or dentist in an EEA country or Switzerland. You will always need to make a payment if a supply is made.
Do I need to pay for my prescription?
If you have an NHS prescription you may be exempt from payment if:
• One or more of the exemptions on the reverse of the prescription apply to you
• You have a valid prescription payment certificate
• If neither of these applies then you will need to pay for your prescription.
• If you have a private prescription you will always need to make a payment.
What are the current NHS prescription charges?
From 1st April 2015 each NHS item in England costs £8.20. There are no prescription charges in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The prescription charge is a contribution to the NHS and is paid to the Department of Health. It is not a payment to the pharmacy nor does it bear any relationship to the cost of the medicine.
Some prescription items carry a dual charge due to the manufacturers combining multiple products into one box. For example two different tablets may be in the same box or a capsule and a cream may be packaged together. See further details below on items which carry more than one charge (Dual Charge).
What are the current prescription exemptions in England?
You are entitled to free prescriptions in England if you meet any of the following criteria:
• You are aged 60 or over.
• You are aged under 16.
• You are aged 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education.
• You are pregnant, or have had a baby in the previous 12 months, and have an exemption certificate (see below).
• You have a listed medical condition and have an exemption certificate (see below).
• You (or your partner) gets one of the following:
- Income Support.
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
• You are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
• You are a war pensioner–and your treatment is connected with the pensionable disability.
• You have low income and have a valid HC2 certificate (see below).
• You are prescribed a free–of-charge contraceptive
Who can get a prescription exemption certificate?
Pregnant women or women who have had a child in the previous 12 months.
You need to apply for a Maternity Exemption Card, using form FW8. The form is available from doctors, nurses, midwives and health visitors. You are required to complete the form and your doctor, nurse, midwife or health visitor will also sign the form to confirm that the information given by you is correct.
You will be sent a card which will last until 12 months after the expected date of the birth (you can apply for an extension if the baby is born late).
If you have a Maternity Exemption Card all your prescriptions are free, whatever the medication is for.
People who have certain medical conditions
Although there are many conditions requiring regular medication, only the following qualify for an exemption certificate:
• Treatment for cancer; (including treatment for the effects of cancer, or treatment for the effects of a current or previous cancer treatment)
• A permanent fistula requiring dressing.
• Forms of hypoadrenalism such as Addison's disease.
• Diabetes insipidus and other forms of hypopituitarism
• Diabetes mellitus except where treatment is by diet alone
• Myxoedema (underactive thyroid) or other conditions where thyroid hormone replacement is necessary.
• Myasthenia gravis.
• Epilepsy requiring continuous anticonvulsive medication
• A continuing physical disability which means you cannot go out without help from another person
If you have one of the specified conditions ask for an application form (FP92A) from your doctor's surgery. You need to fill it in and your doctor (or an authorised member of the practice staff) will sign to confirm that the information you've given is correct. You will then be sent a Medical Exemption Certificate.
If you have a Medical Exemption Certificate all your prescriptions are free, whatever the medication is for.
Further information is available from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA).
If you have low income you can apply for help
If you are on a low income you may qualify for help with prescription charges. Your entitlement to help is based on your individual circumstances, such as your level of income, savings, etc. You will have to fill in an HC1 form 'Claim for Help with Health Costs' and then send it off in the prepaid envelope provided.
If you qualify for help, you will be sent an HC2 Certificate for full help, or an HC3 Certificate for partial help. The certificate will detail who is covered and how long it lasts.
If your circumstances:
• change for the better - you can continue using the certificate until it expires.
• change for the worse - you should make another claim.
• remain unchanged - then make a new claim before the current certificate expires.
HC1 claim forms are available from:
• Your JobCentre Plus office.
• An NHS hospital.
• The NHS Formsline, which can be reached by phone on 0845 610 1112 or textphone on 08700 102 870.
• Department of Health Publications Orderline, which can be reached by phone on 0845 610 1112 or textphone on 08700 102 870.
• Some GP surgeries, pharmacies, dentists or opticians may stock them.
What is a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC)?
If you have to pay for more than 4 prescriptions items in 3 months or 14 items in 12 months, you could save money by buying a PPC.
From 1 April 2015:
• A 3-month PPC costs £29.10
• A 12-month PPC costs £104.00
Once you have a PPC all your prescriptions during that period are included in the one-off fee.
Your PPC will be valid from the date you buy it, unless you ask for a different start date. The start date can be up to one month earlier or one month later than the date you buy the PPC.
If you’re buying a 12-month PPC, you can pay over 10 months using a direct debit payment scheme. This will help you to spread the cost.
If you have to pay for a prescription before your PPC arrives, you can claim a refund of this charge at a later date. When you pay for the prescription, ask your pharmacist to give you an NHS receipt (FP57). It’s important to remember to get an FP57 at the time, as your pharmacist can’t give you one later.
Keep your FP57: it tells you how to claim a refund. You can claim a refund of prescription charges up to three months after you pay them.
Where can I get a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) from?
There are four ways you can buy a Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC):
• Online: complete and submit a PPC (FP95) application form on the NHS Business Services Authority website and pay by debit or credit card.
• By phone: order your PPC by calling the NHS Business Services Authority order phone line on 0845 850 0030 and pay by debit or credit card.
• By post: pick up an FP95 application form from any GP surgery or pharmacy or download and print the form. Send the completed form with your cheque, postal order, credit card or debit card details to the address shown on the form.
• At certain registered pharmacies in England: to check if your local pharmacy is registered either ask in branch or call the NHS Business Services Authority advice phone line on 0845 850 0030.
How do I claim a refund for a prescription charge?
If you have to pay for a prescription and want claim a refund for the charge at a later date, you must ask your pharmacist to give you an NHS receipt (FP57) at the time of payment. It’s important to remember to get an FP57 at the time, as your pharmacist can’t give you one later.
Keep your FP57: it tells you how to claim a refund. You can claim a refund of prescription charges up to three months after you pay them.
What are the current prescription charges in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland
The NHS has different policies on prescription charges across the UK:
NHS prescription charges were abolished in Scotland on the 1st April 2011. You are now entitled to free prescriptions in Scotland if you are a patient:
• registered with a Scottish GP and you receive your prescription from a Scottish pharmacy
• who lives in Scotland and have an entitlement card and you receive your prescriptions from a Scottish pharmacy
• patients with Welsh, Northern Ireland or Isle of Man prescriptions
NHS prescription charges were abolished in Wales on the 1st April 2007. You are now entitled to free prescriptions in Wales if you are a patient:
• registered with a Welsh GP and you receive your prescription from a Welsh pharmacy
• who lives in Wales and have an entitlement card and you receive your prescriptions from a Welsh pharmacy
NHS prescription charges were abolished in Northern Ireland on the 1st April 2010. All patients (including visitors from England, Scotland and Wales) are entitled to free prescriptions.
How much will my private prescription cost?
The price of a private prescription is based on the actual cost of the medicine.
The minimum price for a private prescription is currently £4.90 The VAT element will be automatically deducted.
To find your nearest Well Pharmacy click here. The branch team will be happy to calculate the price for you.
How much will a veterinary prescription cost?
The price of a veterinary prescription is based on the actual cost of the medicine and also includes VAT.
What is a prescription item?
Every individual product on the prescription is classed as an individual item, i.e.: a prescription which contains two lots of medication will be classed as 2 items.
What is a dual charge item?
Some prescription items carry a dual charge because the manufacturers combine multiple products into one box.
For example, two different tablets may be in the same box or a capsule and a cream may be packaged together.
Do I need to order my prescription from my prescriber?
Unless your prescriber has given you a batch of prescriptions in advance you will need to request a prescription from your surgery. Only on receipt of this prescription will we be able to supply you medication.
I want to change the quantity that I receive; what should I do?
We can only supply you with the quantity that your prescriber has issued on your prescription. If you want to make a change to this you will need to speak to your GP’s surgery directly. The surgery staff will be able to help you further once you provide them with the reason for your change.
I have forgotten to order my medication and am running short; what should I do?
You will need to contact your prescriber immediately to arrange for a prescription. If this is not possible you should visit your nearest pharmacy and ask to speak to the pharmacist. If the pharmacist is satisfied it may be possible to make an emergency supply to you at his/her professional discretion.
As this service is not covered by the NHS it will involve a charge for the cost of the medicines. You can find your nearest Well Pharmacy branch here.
Alternatively you may be able to visit a local NHS Out of Hours facility. Further details available at www.nhs.uk