FOI 32019



Freedom of Information Disclosure Log

The NHSBSA's responses to Freedom of Information requests. read more


Open Government Licence 2.0 (United Kingdom) [Open Data]

FOI 32019


‘Hi there please can I get the following information

  1. The number of enquiry letters for nhs prescription exemption checking service for people who have claimed they have a “valid maternity excemption certificate” for prescriptions in 2022 that have been generated.

  2. the number of these which were then issued penalty charges

  3. the number which had the penalty removed but are still required to pay the prescription charge because they have shown evidence that they were pregnant or have a child under 1.

  4. the number of fw8 forms received in 2022 from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn maternity unit including outpatients units including Wisbech, downham market In 2022.

  5. the number of these fw8 forms that were not processed by nhsbsa.

  6. the of fw8 forms from these generated a “matex” certificate.’


Question 1


Question 2


Question 3

10,853 cases had an easement applied for all reasons/scenarios (penalty removed, prescription charges remaining)

Questions 4, 5 & 6

I can confirm that the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) holds some of the information meeting the description specified in your request.

In 2022, the NHSBSA received approx. 470,000 maternity exemption forms. Approx. 60% of these are received digitally.

For digital forms, we would hold the source of the application (midwife) information but not necessarily whether they were from those specific units. Therefore for digital forms, the exact source of the form is not held in a way which would pinpoint the units quoted in your request.

The remaining 40% are received on paper forms, not all of which are scanned and available to view as scanned images, meaning those which are not scanned would need to be retrieved from our warehouse. For paper forms/scanned images, it is estimated that it would take on average approx. 2 minutes per form to check where the form originated from. There is a section on the paper form for hospitals to add their details. This would need checking for approx. 188,000 paper forms/scanned images. Based on 2 minutes per form we estimate that it would take around 6,266.6 hours (188,000x2/60) to locate, retrieve and extract this information.

Therefore, I estimate that the cost of complying with parts 4 to 6 of your request would exceed the non-central Government limit of £450. The limit has been specified in The Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 and represents the estimated cost of one person spending 18 hours in determining whether the NHSBSA holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting the information. Under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act, the NHSBSA is not obliged to comply with your request and I will not be processing those questions of your request further. Unfortunately, we are unable to identify a subset of the data requested which we could answer within the appropriate limit.

Please note that this request and our response is published on our Freedom of Information disclosure log at:

Data Queries

If you have any queries regarding the data provided, or if you plan on publishing the data please contact ensuring you quote the above reference. This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

If you plan on producing a press or broadcast story based upon the data please contact This is important to ensure that the figures are not misunderstood or misrepresented.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and is subject to NHSBSA copyright. This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence detailed at:

Should you wish to re-use the information you must include the following statement: “NHSBSA Copyright 2022” This information is licenced under the terms of the Open Government Licence:

Failure to do so is a breach of the terms of the licence.

Information you receive which is not subject to NHSBSA Copyright continues to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from which the information originated. Please obtain their permission before reproducing any third party (non NHSBSA Copyright) information.

Data and Resources

This dataset has no data

Additional Info

Field Value
Contact Information Governance
Version 1.0
State active
Last Updated February 24, 2023, 15:19 (UTC)
Created February 24, 2023, 15:12 (UTC)