National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Amendment Regulations 2008

The Regulations exempt community patients from prescription charges in most circumstances. However, while patients are subject to SCT they cannot be discharged from the the s117 duty to provide free after-care services, so they should not be charged for treatment for mental disorder.

Extract from DH website

Supervised community treatment (SCT) is one of a number of measures introduced with effect from 3 November 2008 by the Mental Health Act 2007, which amends the Mental Health Act 1983. SCT is a new way to manage the care and treatment of suitable patients in the community following detention for treatment under the Act. Patients on SCT will be required to make themselves available for medical examination for periodic review of their condition or for a second opinion about their treatment. They may also be asked to keep to conditions designed to ensure they receive treatment and to address any risk of harm to their health or safety, or to others. Patients on SCT may be recalled to hospital for treatment if that becomes necessary.

The National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Amendment Regulations 2008 provide that SCT patients must not be charged for medication they need for mental disorder (as defined in the Mental Health Act), provided that the medication is supplied via direct supply by the PCT or Trust or by a health professional through a Patient Group Direction. If the patient is prescribed medication through the community pharmacy route, by means of a prescription on form FP10, the exemption will not apply. Any SCT patient entitled to exemption from charging on other grounds will of course remained entitled on that basis.

Arrangements should be made at local level to ensure that SCT patients can receive their medication via the routes described above, so that charges do not apply. It is expected that this will in most cases be consistent with systems already in place to deliver medication to patients on discharge from hospital under the Mental Health Act.

Resources

DH website "Mental Health Act 2007 - commencement orders, regulations, associated guidance and other secondary legislation" page

National Health Service (Charges for Drugs and Appliances) Amendment Regulations 2008 on OPSI website

DH "Q&A" document (on CSIP website)