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Medical Exemption Cards for Ostomates

Medical exemption cards are incredibly helpful. For those of us with numerous stoma supplies and medication in the UK, prescription costs can get costly. With each item being £9.00 the bills can rack up and with it being essential, it can prove rather costly and for those on limited income or not working then it can occasionally be a choice of choosing food or prescription costs.

My average monthly cost of prescriptions prior to me paying for the prescription card could cost an average of £117 per month including my monthly medications from my GP to treat my condition. I have been paying for my prescription card also known as PPC since 2012 and it expired back in July. This was costing me £10.40 for 10 months and came to £104 per year. 

I knew back in October of last year that I was now classed as medically exempt from prescription charges but kept paying for the card as I had it renewed in July prior to my final operation. 

When are you classed as medically exempt? 

This is a massive contradiction to itself as some people can have a “temporary stoma” for years and not qualify for the exemption whereas others can. 

I have been fighting my GP for many years to get this mysterious exemption thing sorted out and it has been a frustrating battle, to say the least. 

My original stoma formation was back in 2009 and I was covered by maternity exemption for 2 years and then covered with working tax credits until my reversal back in 2012. After my reversal I went onto the PPC card as prescription costs were ridiculous and I would often forgo medication so I didn’t incur the costs and cry in the pharmacy every time I had to pay. 

What is classed as medically exempt with a stoma?

  • A permanent fistula (such as, caecostomy, colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy or laryngostomy) which needs continuous surgical dressings or appliances

My GP argued with me that unless they had notification from my surgeon that this was a permanent fixture then there is no medical exemption. 

How to apply for this card

For those of us with a stoma, you need to go to your GP and they will fill in the form and apply for this and have it posted to you. 

Some have had their stoma nurses do this for them after the surgery and it pops through your letterbox. 

This card has to be renewed every five years until your 60th birthday.

Have any of you had issues applying for this card? Were you aware that this was an option? 

I would love to hear your feedback.

As always,

Many thanks for reading

Louise X

For further information on Medical Exemption Certificates and how to apply in your area, please click on one of the following links

England – https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/exemption-certificates/medical-exemption-certificates

Wales –  http://www.healthcosts.wales.nhs.uk/medical-exemption-certificate

Scotland – https://www.nhsinform.scot/care-support-and-rights/nhs-services/doctors/medical-exemption-certificates#free-nhs-prescriptions

NI – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/help-health-costs

Louise uses our Platinum with Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. To try a sample, click here

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